Some would say I am like a cheetah. Not because I can reach 0 to 96.6kph in under three seconds but because like a cheetah I can only run for sixty seconds at a time. Then I stop. Like that. Just stop.
Who can blame me? Unlike Bruce, I wasn’t born to run, more to meander, to saunter and to sashay, champagne in one hand, iphone in the other.
Did I mention I hate running? Loathe it.
In a moment of clear delusion I signed up for the CanToo team in the 9km Blackmores ‘fun’ run (I blame Dani Lombard Treacher, you know who you are). Though fun and run should never be seen in the same sentence together.
I’m doing it for cancer. Correction, everyone else is doing it for cancer. I’m doing it because I’m a porker (insert boyfriend telling me not to be so mean to myself) and thought signing up would automatically relieve me of the 25kgs that have mysteriously attached themselves to my super model frame in the past two years. It didn’t.
My first Wednesday night at the track (that’s athlete speak for highway to hell) I burst into tears and that was while seated.
Once I actually started running it was clear I was channeling my inner sloth as I hauled my sorry algae ridden arse around the track (insert boyfriend admonishing my inner bully) only to my surprise that arse was bigger than anyone else’s there. No, that’s not a cry for protestations of flattery, it’s a fact. Meh.
The group I run with, had of course, yet to know me. They had never seen me in my physical peak when my thighs hardly knew each other. They had not seen me hike a near vertical peak covered in snow only to ski back down, wind in my hair, flush in my cheeks.
They just saw a middle aged woman with chub rub doing her best to not finish last and swallowing her pride with every goddamn step or maybe I just saw that.
I finished last.
Running with a group can be daunting. Especially when the group is so goddamn perky.
“You’re doing great” said strangers as they ran past me. I wanted to tell them to sod off but I knew by the time I found the breath to do so they’d be half way back round that track and coming up my rear again.
Five weeks down the track (pun intended) and I’ve completed five running sessions and missed three and even bought running shoes in the hope of cushioning the extreme calf pain that kicks in around the three-kilometer mark. I’m not allowed to run with my iphone, Cantoo like us to talk to each other, or I’d call a taxi.
In the meantime I’ve been told I have the constitution of an oxe and I am applauded as I make it back, last, at the end of a run wanting to vomit on all those clapping souls who whoop and try to high five me as I make it back to base.
It would appear I have become one of those people. The kind you root for on The Biggest Loser. The one that comes last and inspires motivational memes about just showing up. Oh bite me.
But I haven’t watched someone I love lose a battle with cancer like so many of my perky fellow runners who finish way ahead of me have.
They run to remember, not to forget. They run in the hope that every step they run and every dollar they make while running for CanToo will help heal and cure someone else of a cancer that took their own.
I have to raise $800 to put in the CanToo kitty or else I’m not allowed to run.
I’d like to not run more than anything. I hate running, but you know that.
So please pay some money so I can finish what I hate and the perky ones can cheer me as I do it.
I’d do a cake sale, sell you charity chocolate or put on a movie and charge you at the door, only I’m never going to do any of that. I’m just going to run.
Feel free to throw your coffers on my CanToo fundraising page and let me do what I hate.