I have loved reading Stephen Fry’s book Moab is My Washpot and have only about 70 pages to go to completion. I can identify so much with him, really I can. This blog isn’t a book review. I don’t doubt I will say more about this early autobiography in a later blog. No, this piece of writing is about identifying with the need to join in.
You see, like Stephen Fry, I loathed, despised, hated, dreaded PE or games, as I refered to it at school. For Stephen Fry there was one reason for this. He just couldn’t do it but so badly wanted to join in. For me there were two reasons. 1) Because I was a shinny runt and everyone, especially the boys, laughed at me and made me as their sport. 2) I, like Fry, was rubbish at it. Well, that was hardly surprising was it?
So all my life me and sports of any kind just never mixed ever, ever. This world belonged to others. How could I possibly fit in, join in? But then last year in a fit of what seemed then madness I decided to run for GEAR. Many of you know my journey and I am not going to bore with another blog about how it all started. I just want to share this.
I was training with GEAR last Wednesday. In the middle of the session, we had to pair up and do a 200 metre faster run around the track three times. The baton was handed to me and the guy next to me realised, that he was going to be my partner given our position standing in the crowd.
” Looks like you got me then I said.”
I’m sure perhaps it was my imagination, but maybe not. I perceived the look of disappointment on his face when he knew that me, old slow coach, would mean we would likely come in last. No criticism here intended but it was horrible feeling. I was transported back to school and could see myself on the games pitch. How I hated those team games when I was never picked. My stupid, stupid school elected to select two people at random always to pick the teams. I was never picked and ended up just filing in to which ever queue was left. How dumb was my school for thinking up that psychological downer. (It was even more cringe-withering when I had to pick a team as I knew no-one wanted to be in my team, never to join in with me).
The sports field can be a cruel world.
But I ran with him and ran my best, Of course, I came last into the first handover and as he was waiting I said:
” Sorry, you have got me, the slow one ”
I thought drat why did I say that. I am not apologising. I am here and I am trying. Many competitors are not here because they feel just as self-conscious as I do now and don’t come. DAMN IT , don’t apologise.
I did all the running and kept up. On the last final excercise later, I passed someone and thought, I am not going to be damn well last every time. I felt brilliant at the end for doing it all and the trainer said she should see how much more confident I was.
So this time next week, I am going to be doing everything I trained for 10 months to do. GEAR is next Sunday, 10.30 and I am going to be as nervous as hell. But, I feel good because I truly believe that at last I can and am joining in. I belong now to the world of running. You can’t imagine how good that feels.
I am joining in. Iam ACTUALLY ABLE TO JOIN IN!
Please consider giving to my Just Giving site and help me along my 6.25 mile race. Many thanks.