Struggling for fitness, I’m appreciating – not patronising – newbie runners
AS A NON-CLUB RUNNER who trains mainly alone, I’ve never felt we runners were that friendly towards one other.
Maybe it’s just a London thing, and people are different elsewhere…
But city pavement-bashers find it hard to break the habit of always blanking strangers and treating them with suspicion – even when we’re dressed in the same running gear, and united in suffering.
Come to think of it, maybe it’s the suffering that does it? Perhaps we’re not being bad mannered intentionally, it’s just that we’re all in our own little worlds of pain, which even other runners don’t really come into.
A while ago, I read an article that compared runners to a kind of secular priesthood – think the shared sense of vocation and dedication; the urge towards purity and transcendence, even the uniform.
But the piece struck one bum note when it described how runners supposedly greet each other as they pass, by raising an arm like a priest in benediction, and I thought: “I’ve never seen that happen.”
Over a third of new Dads are worried about their mental health? Mate, I’ve been there…
MY KIDS made me happy yesterday.
I had lunch with my daughter, just before she went off to University to pick her Year One modules, and we talked excitedly about her future plans
In the evening, I watched my son at rugby training and felt myself filling up with pride as I saw how quickly he’s learning the game.
But it wasn’t always like that.
My wife and I are now almost – almost – at the fabled point in our kids’ lives where they stop being children, as such, and become more like engaging young friends. Like it said they would in the parenting books.
But getting to this stage has cost me a hell of a lot.
I don’t think it’s being too fanciful to say that – at various points – being a Dad cost me my job, my money, my friends, my self-respect, and my sanity.
And, sadly, today’s Baby Daddies don’t seem to be having it any easier than I did, almost two decades ago.
Why won’t my kids read the amazing books I recommend?
THE HOLIDAYS – peak time for reading.
I’m about a quarter way through The Enchantment Of Lily Dahl – an old paperback by Siri Hustvedt that I saved from the bin at the charity bookshop where I volunteer.
Before that, I took ten days to crack through Conspiracy, the last (so far) of S J Parris’ Elizabethan-era detective novels.
Prior to those, I demolished Michael Palin’s Erebus and the latest of Ian Rankin’s series featuring the seemingly immortal John Rebus, In A House Of Lies.
I bought both of the latter books in desperation at Luton Airport (Ooh-Eee-Ooh!), feeling twitchy about the books that I’d already packed; dreadfully naked and vulnerable without a satisfactory supply of words to burn through.
My wife has also been cracking on. She’s normally too tired and busy to read at anything but a snail’s pace, but she read a book a week lying by the pool, which for her is pure Linford Christie.