Category Archives: Donkey

Break-Dancing Long John Silver and the Excuses

Another 10km today. Bland featureless roads. I saw a donkey (not pictured).

I then did a 16km cycle to go and get some milk. Long story, but I do it quite frequently. I might expand on that in a future blog, because I can just tell you’re itching to hear more about it.

No?

Sigh.

I suppose I better write some more.

Lets talk about excuses.

I love excuses.

Finding excuses to avoid doing things is an art form I should be internationally recognised for. For example, when I was supposed to be revising for my A-Level Chemistry exam I discovered I absolutely had to watch as much cricket as possible on the television. I didn’t even like cricket. (I got an E in the exam too, which just adds another thing about cricket I don’t like to the already long list). What was amazing was the irresistible pull that cricket exerted on me.

It proves that anything other than thing you’re supposed to be doing is normally far more interesting than the thing you’re supposed to be doing.

(I know. I read that sentence twice too and it doesn’t make any sense. Try to imagine Bob Dylan singing it; that helps).

At this time of year I see people making broad, sweeping gestures about how in 2012 they’re going to change their lives and sort themselves out. Run, swim, wrestle an alligator daily, whatever floats their boat. All in the name of losing weight, getting buff and avoiding a painful, lonely, early death (I kind of added the last one). But most people, like me, would rather do anything as long as it isn’t exercise. Exercising for a while is fun. Getting out there day, after day, in the wind, rain and snow is less fun. Doing it for months or years when you’d rather be gradually filling out sideways and developing a double chin is even less fun again.

It’s a war. A war of man vs. excuse. A war of man vs. putting-it-off-till tomorrow.

When I worked as a corporate drone, employed to sit behind a desk poking a keyboard occasionally while drinking small cups of coffee and eating Boost bars until I felt nauseous (that’s what I put on the CV anyway) I used to revel in thinking of new and creative excuses as to why I couldn’t possibly run. I didn’t see myself a runner. I cycled. I swam. But running? Noooo. I needed an excuse.

The ace-in-the-hole was my ankle. From birth I had a strange growth on the side of it. As the growth subsided it left a strange chewed up shape which was a sort of greeny-blue in colour and covered in red sprinkles. 200 years ago I’d have been burnt for being a demon, but as I was born in modern West Wales they settled for putting me in a sack and dropping me in the Ystwyth.

I often ask my parents what the medical term was for my defective part, but they can’t remember. As an only child, I can appreciate how my birth deformity might not be particularly memorable.

(I digress slightly, but the nebulaic explosion of ankle colour always looked so cool I sort of hoped an alien race had tattooed it on my body as a starchart that would make me a critical asset in an interstellar war, and that inevitably one day the aliens would return to beg me to lead their spacefleet. To date this hasn’t happened, but I’m not giving up all hope.)

Anyhoo, said wonky ankle always made my gait a touch weird. My strange malformed appendage made me gallop with all the elegance of a break-dancing Long John Silver. Add in a dash of asthma, and I was set for a lifetime of denial and double chin building. I could barely walk without wheezing and wobbling like Mr Blobby. What hope running?

Last year, something snapped inside me. I was 35. I didn’t walk into the valley of the double chin blindly. I didn’t want to get out of breath when picking my nose. Hell, I wanted to fight those excuses. I wanted to see if that gammy, deformed leg could propel me to glory. To my surprise it actually could. I could run! Once the excuses were gone I actually found sticking to my new hobby was vaguely enjoyable. Indeed, when I was injured in November and December and couldn’t get out to run I actually felt almost sad about it. GASP.

That’s when I knew I’d gone beyond the excuses. (insert rousing string section here)

Thankfully there are still plenty of things in my life I avoid doing. Many of them too revolting, personal or offensive to list here, but just let it be known that running helped me on a voyage of personal discovery.

It might not have been a voyage to the head of the Arxian space force, where I repelled the Xurg menace using a weapon I located because of a starchart on my ankle, but it’s not far off.

Getting fit isn’t about saying you’re going to do it, and planning how. It’s about working out why you’re going to avoid doing it and then addressing that.

Wow. That was glib. I should be writing articles for Bella magazine.

Till tomorrow! Joggetty-loggetty-bloggety-boo!

Sport
Running
Start Time
Jan 2, 2012 10:37 AM
Distance
10.00 km
Duration
54m:34s
Avg Speed
5:27 min/km
Max Speed
4:32 min/km
Calories
930 kcal
Altitude
116 m / 174 m
Elevation
61 m ↑ / 51 m ↓
Heart Rate
– / –
Sport
Cycling, sport
Start Time
Jan 2, 2012 6:18 PM
Distance
16.29 km
Duration
49m:26s
Avg Speed
19.8 km/h
Max Speed
35.4 km/h
Calories
570 kcal
Altitude
145 m / 172 m
Elevation
30 m ↑ / 31 m ↓
Heart Rate
– / –

http://www.endomondo.com/workouts/32761678