The Start

There are probably thousands of blogs from runners far more experienced and definitely more competent than me, so why add to it? I guess it started with my first run. I’d been making excuses not to run for days, weeks even. I would get as far as putting all the gear on and sitting in the kitchen lacing up my shoes. A couple of spots of rain on the conservatory roof and the trainers would be off quicker than Usain Bolt off the starting line. Finally, I ran out of excuses, the weather was fair and I tentatively set off for my first run. Living on an estate, though, meant there was no possibility of starting out running confidently from my front door through the streets. Too many people to point and laugh on the way through. No, luckily I had my dog with me so I could pretend I just happened to go for a walk dressed like this until I got away from anyone I might know.  Final hurdle over I hacked up a nonchalant cough and started my first stumbling steps toward becoming a runner. Down barely used footpaths I fumbled my way lungs burning and shin splints starting until I saw a lady of a certain age crouching, perfectly still, staring intently into the opposite bush. Thinking she might have spotted some rare type of fauna I approached quietly and stealthily trying not to disturb whatever magic of nature she had spied. At exactly the moment she noticed me and turned to look over, I realised that here was a woman with trousers round her ankles and that the look of concentration of her face was far removed from one trying to recall the genus of some rarely sighted willow warbler.  In a typically British scene we both apologised profusely and I ran on. This, I decided, was the sport for me