Run, fat boy, run

Or “Oh my good golly gosh, am I really going to do this?”

Ha-ha Bonk!
Anyone reading this who actually knows me will, by the end of it, either be in stitches of laughter, or shaking their head saying “It’ll never happen”. Both quite reasonable reactions.  Hopefully only the first one will prevail, however.

I’ve dedicated a not insignificant amount of effort in my life to Not Running.   Not Running has been a good thing.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.  I may have chosen to do cross country at school, but I had my reasons.  I wasn’t stupid.   Cross country meant you didn’t do rugby, and a boy could get hurt doing rugby.  Cross country meant that you got to go home early, because it would be over before the official end of the day.  Cross country meant, later on, being allowed to go canoeing in the summer.  And most importantly, the cross country course could be completed by a brisk walker without having to actually run above the first and last few hundred yards when you were actively observed.  Oh, and a strategic limping jog about half-way round, when the psycho-fit games master would come past, sweeping up stragglers, but too bored to actually pace you all the way to the end.

Once school was left behind Not Running became even easier.  Apart from the odd late-for-the-train, or worse, nearly-last-orders, Not Running is pretty much normative behaviour in the adult world.

You see, not only did running seem singularly pointless, I’ve always been epically useless at it.  On the day God gave out Sporty, I nipped back and re-joined the queue for Verbose and then stepped sideways to pick up a splash of Creative Urges Without Actual Talent.

On taking leave of one’s senses
Despite all this, I’ve always had a vague attraction to the idea of running. Not the actuality, of course. But a part of me has always quite wanted to be one of those people who can just effortlessly breeze across the landscape. Doubtless the same part that thinks it would be neat to be some kind of super ninja action hero, harder than a hard thing, yet Thoroughly Decent, with a roguish twinkle.  The part that also ponders the possibility of rock stardom.  And an endless stream of critically acclaimed yet commercially successful and enjoyable novels.  And poetry.  And just all-round Joe Cool-ness.

Yes, the part that is so far detached from reality, it doesn’t even get a postcard from the wilder outreaches of plausible fantasy.

Only for some reason, the running idea is gaining ground.  Worryingly.  It’s probably the combination of being an official Fat Git, middle-age, and working on having useful spare time, but it’s looking alarmingly like I may start running.   Even posting this is part of it – I’ll be too ashamed to back down purely because the solitary ‘bot on the Internet that’s found this blog has crawled the page and it just might not be a ‘bot, but someone I know.  Damn.

Escape hatch
I even thought I had the perfect get-out: stupidly narrow feet. After all, I may be fat and deluded, but I’m not daft. I don’t fancy blowing out my joints and going from fat & unfit to fat, unfit & broken.  So there’s a proper plan to follow, and proper clobber to be obtained.  But they’ll never make running shoes that fit me, I’ll be OK.

Unfortunately, having visited a local source of such strange and exotic paraphernalia, where they assess your gait and make sure you’re going to be a repeat customer of theirs, rather than A&E, it turns out they do make narrow running shoes.  Bastards. Furthermore, these places aren’t staffed by elitist, arrogant teenagers ready to poor derision on the very idea of you wheezing your way through just doing up the laces, but by nice, sensible people who are both helpful and encouraging.  Guitar shops, take note. Oh, and again, Bastards.

So now I find myself waiting for the call to say that the narrow ones have arrived in my size. It would appear there’s no going back. Unless anyone can recommend good psychiatric help. Never before have I been so excited and impatient to spend money I don’t want to spend in order to enable me to do an activity I don’t want to do.

And to cap it all, dear reader (be you human or ‘bot), I hereby pledge to report my progress in humiliating detail.  Once there is some.