I hate always having to run, but it’s the only thing that turns my mood round
AS YOU MAY have gathered by now, I love running. But, sometimes, I hate having to do it quite as much as I do.
I’d like to be Less Is More and only run when conditions are truly agreeable. I’m thinking: azure skies, green fields, little pink candyfloss clouds and white bunny wabbits cheering as, serenely, I float past.
But lemons, lemonade: some days you have to settle for running through grey South London in the snow…
I really didn’t want to go out yesterday morning. It was just a notch or two above zero, with the winds whipping big wet snowflakes down at a rakish angle and pregnant puddles everywhere I might want to plant a foot.
I had an upset stomach, limbs still stiff from 13 miles at the weekend, and I’d necked an inevitable beer or three the night before – all of which made me feel far from the acme of mature athleticism I like to pretend I am.
I knew it would be unpleasant, going out, but I needed to change the old brain chemistry after a setback in my job search. I kept telling myself it was only a small setback, but they tend to look much bigger when you’re 50-something and haven’t worked for year.
It’s tough to stay motivated when you’re trying to change career – so, like Grant’s character in ‘About A Boy’, I’m proud that I haven’t gone under
I DID 150 Side Planks as I was microwaving my porridge this morning.
As the oven chimes sounded to announce that the two minutes of cooking were up – and I gasped through the last half dozen reps – I reflected that I was getting pretty good at time management.
I’d done all the morning chores and waved goodbye to the wife and kids; I’d fitted some intense body-firming exercise into an otherwise idle moment; and I was on schedule to start work at 8.40, as usual.
Except that there wasn’t actually any work to go to…
Heard of Andrew Yang? He’s the progressive genius who might yet save us all…
MAYBE there really is a light at the end of the tunnel.
It’s a dim one for sure – and almost obscured by the black pall of hopelessness generated by Johnson, Trump, prorogation, austerity, Iran, yada yada – but it is there.
And the person holding the torch is a progressive American politician called Andrew Yang, who wants to revolutionise the way we live and work in the western world.
For a start, he wants to give us free money.
And after that, he wants to turn upside-down the way we think about work – so that a mother or a care assistant might be regarded, and rewarded, as highly as a banker.
Yang is one of 10 candidates left in the race to become the US Democratic Party’s candidate to take on Trump in 2020 – and currently polling fifth behind Big Beasts Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris.
More excitingly, he claims he is “peeling off” disillusioned Trump supporters from 2016 with his promise of a so-called ‘Freedom Dividend’ – or a guaranteed $1,000 monthly income for all Americans.
CHANGE is coming to how we work. But at my age, I’m not getting my hopes up
YOU CAN TELL a lot about what a person is thinking from the books they buy.
Out of all the volumes in all the shop yesterday, I chose 1) a volume of cricket history, 2) Jog On: How Running Saved My Life, and 3) a memoir about how being a teacher is wonderful, and life-affirming.
And what my choices tell us is: 1) I feel a need for comfort and certainty; 2) I really want to run again regularly, and fervently hope to get over my depression; 3) I am still fantasising about getting a ‘proper’ job as a teacher, despite quitting within a month last time I tried.
But perhaps even more interesting was the book I picked up and didn’t buy: Not Working: Why We Have To Stop, by Josh Cohen.
As I weighed it in my hand I thought: I know what this is about. This is about giving up our pointless jobs and doing what we really want with our lives. *
And then I put it down again, quickly, because I couldn’t bear to read that.