Ever since I can remember, I ran around for fun. As a child I ran with a make shift cape, pretending to be Superman (my favourite movie). I’d run in the school playground, playing tig, cops and robbers, or acting out scenes from Star Wars (lots of good movies in the late 70s).
As I got older, I’d run around pretending to be Daley Thompson (uncanny!) and hurdle garden canes, throw frisbees and run laps around the block, all in the name of fun. Toward my teens, as things got a little more serious (but not much), I’d rely on my physical fitness for visiting friends across town, not to mention getting home on time with seconds to spare. When I finally managed to gain entry to proper grown up movies (not those) and emerged from the last showing – seconds after my bus had left for home (7miles away), I just ran home and would save myself the hour’s wait.
I’ve always just enjoyed running. For fun. As means of keeping myself relatively healthy. To save money on transport (tight as a duck’s ar**).
I don’t quite understand why so many people find it so difficult to run, perhaps even walk. I wouldn’t go so far as to call them lazy, as there’s obviously no need to run everywhere, or anywhere really, but I feel the urge to run. It’s a real thrill that’s been with me since childhood. I’d go up and down the dips in the pavement, picking up speed on the downs and convincing myself i was floating up the ups. I’d run down grassy slopes so fast I was risking a cartwheeling pile up, but it was there for the running. Sure there were my early twenties, when I can guarantee I sat in every available seat at my local pub (the Blue Stoops in Dronfield), getting drunk and feasting on post drink pickled eggs (!) But that passed and gave way to a more respectable, positive love of fitness and health (cough).
It was in the pub that I was introduced to my inspiration – a drummer in a local band, a friend of a friend who was described to me as a keen runner, who ran 6 miles every day. “Six miles!!” was my response, since at the time I’d failed to consider the times I’d run just as far or further through stupidity, and I wasn’t long before taking up a different friend’s offer to join him and have a go at a cross country event called ‘Hell Runner’.
So there I was, once again running for fun. Paying for the privilege and loving it all over again. I now rarely run less than 6 miles if I run at all. But I have a car for cinema trips.
The difference is that these days I almost always wear running gear instead of real clothes. I like to call myself a ‘runner’, rather than a ‘person who could do with reading the bus timetable before deciding which film to see’.
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