Here’s something I never thought I would say: I’m a runner.
Something I didn’t think I would say 7 years ago, when I’d managed to stop smoking. Officially, I hadn’t smoked for a year up to that point. Not cigarettes, anyway. I’d changed my habits and switched to cigars; when I say cigars, I mean those little Café Crème cigars that always came in those appealing little tins.
However, smoking 10 Café Cremes a day wasn’t particularly healthy, especially when it was combined with half a dozen cans of George Thorogood Bitter (Bargain Booze’s own brand, 5% abv) every night. This incredible consumption of alcohol and calories allowed my once wiry body to expand on a daily basis.
Two incidences encouraged me to try and change my habits.
1) When I had trouble bending over my belly to put on my socks.
2) When I woke with a start one night aware of something making a gentle whistling noise in the room. After several uneasy minutes, I realised it was my chest.
So, I decided to stop smoking, cut back on the beer and eat sensibly. I lost nearly a stone.
My weight levelled out and I decided that drastic action was needed. I had to do some physical exercise. I’ve always been a ‘sporty’ person, but a bad knee injury in my early 40s meant that I could, in the words of my surgeon, only swim, cycle or run.
I hated them all.
But I decided to grit my teeth and go for a run around the block. It was cold and difficult and tiring. Three days later I went for another run. Similar experience. I persisted.
After three weeks, I had a terrible realisation. I’d started to like my runs.
“I’ve started to like my runs,” I told Lady Barton St Mary, who was reclining on the chaise longue reading at the time.
She looked over the top of her Homes and Gardens magazine she was reading and raised her eyebrows.
“Mmm. You’ll end up running marathons,” she said.
I looked at her incredulously and snorted.
“If I ever tell you I’m sad enough to run a marathon, you have my permission to shoot me,” .
That was over five years ago. On April 6th I will be running in the Brighton marathon, raising money for Cancer Research. If you would like to help me by sponsoring me, please follow the link below:
In addition, if you do sponsor me, give me the name of one person in your life who has been affected by cancer and you would like to remember. I will put these names on a special tag attached to my running vest on the day and carry them with me.
There’s more Running Spaceman blogs to follow.
Meanwhile, Lady Barton St Mary is internet shopping for a suitable firearm…