Catch me if you can!

Posted on: 18 May 2017

I last left you lovely Buzzers with my solemn commitment to digging, and so some monumental digging I've been doing. But as is standard in this unforgiving sport, it came not without adversity. Fortunately this didn't look remotely like injury, but came instead in the shape of angry geese. Like REALLY angry geese, of the parental persuasion.

Imagine if you will me running well, head held high and proud, committed to improving and facing all those running demons and taking no prisoners. I had decided to hit the trails so I went in search of them. It was a lovely start to the inaugural 'long run' and soon I found that first turn off road into the grassland, to explore at long last those innards of my local country park. Barely past the first curve, I approached a small bridge to hear hissing to my right. Behold that aforementioned pair of parental geese, guarding their tots with a vengeance and an invisible signpost hissing along with it: 'No human shall passsssss!' I visualize those very geese flapping and bashing about at my head which stops me cold and say to myself 'ok, ok, I'll find another route.' So I turn around and no more than three paces later am absolutely lambasting myself for being such a coward when there I was trying to find some new strength.

Geese! Bloody geese!

I wheeled back around and glared at them. 'Hell no, not today you aren't! I'm passing you, you feathered f--- and you'll LIKE it!!' (ok, it wasn't 'friends' out my mouth, being my father's daughter!!!) and there I managed to get past them in a positively glorious moment of mind over matter. There I trotted along, puffing pride at my new found courage, shoulders down, onward we go... 

...until I rounded the next corner to find another set of hissing, long-necked, ***** machines guarding five of their own offspring. 


'Arrrgggh!! You cannot be SERIOUS!!!!' says I. Ok, ok, I'm definitely not trying to pass this group. So I turn heel and head back towards the smaller group. Had I a tail it'd be firmly between my legs. But I was still running on that trail and not pavement so that was the consolation prize.

And let me tell you it was a mighty good thing I was enjoying it because by the time I got back to the bridge, the first family was in the middle of the path eyeballing me, now hissing a proper symphony which sounded an awful lot like 'you talkin' to ME?!' I'm thinking OMG this is not happening. And I'm now officially trapped between a bunch of geese. Really? REALLY?? 

There was a fair bit of distance between the two families, which was mighty lucky because I had to do another four intervals between them before I finally saw the top of a man's head pop over the brush and with him, a dog. To hell with that climbing guide, THIS guy could rescue me all day long!!! I skipped all the good mornings and other niceties to blurt out 'are there still geese over there?' He smiles, as if he'd been over there stroking their necks and having a cuddle. Totally cool and collected. I'm thinking crikey I need to get off road more, this is now officially out of hand. I asked him to escort me out and by the time we got to the bridge again, the small family had gone into the water and are looking totally innocuous. 

As for me, I'm looking like a right numpty. But smiling. Smiling all the while.

I tell you, you couldn't write this stuff. But that there is about how my life is going right now. Up and down, now brave, now afraid, forward and back. Somehow I keep on chugging along and realize that running is the only thing in my world that is consistent and is mine and is the very sinew keeping all my bones attached to my body and so preventing me from collapsing into the stresses of every day life.

That love for this sport now so deep that today after wrapping up week seven of my time with the Running School, I gladly handed over my card to book another block of lessons, to keep working, to keep improving. Because I saw my before and after videos today and could not POSSIBLY have been more blown away at the change. I can't believe that a simple seven hours of instruction has resulted in what I was seeing. And to see it physically on screen is one thing, but to feel it, to know your body is connecting in an entirely new way that has always been inside, just waiting for a little help to let it out...well, that is another thing altogether. This correct form becoming more instinctive with every step. 

Better still, every time I run now I am closer to that finish line in October, closer to finally catching that strong marathon finish which has eluded me twice now. Sure I'm going up and down more mountains first, another half in there, a few 10ks likely, but that third 26.2 is the ultimate goal. It's out there waiting for me, and with it a whole different set of follow up goals. I daren't list them yet but they also ride the sinew and so, too, keep me whole.

Dreams. Dreams becoming realities. Big dreams. (Dream big.)

I was, for a time, thinking that these were 'baby steps' and yes, that's the right definition. But not those tentative unsure ones. These are the ones that thump and stamp and charge away from their pursuer, the ones that look back and laugh that beautiful, booming, belly laugh which says everything is ok now! Let's run! Catch me if you can! 

Unless you're a goose, of course. Then you can hiss off. ;-)

EDIT: Just got a link to my before and after videos if you want a look. What a result, I'm stupidly happy!! :)

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