I’m coming back to that old saying again – ‘pride comes before a fall’. I may well be falling, and I have to say, it’s pretty unfair. I wasn’t exactly elevated to great heights even in my own mind – no conceited dizziness here – so you’d think fate would allow me a little boost…
It all started the week before Christmas. Rhys announced that he couldn’t possibly make it through the evening without a burger, so we popped down to the Electric Diner. Having sunk an enormous beef dinner the previous evening and hosted at breakfast, I retorted with the assurance that he may have his burger, but I would be keeping it light. “Perhaps a salad or a starter,” I told him, “whilst you have your burger”. Why did I even think that I would ever do such a thing?! I genuinely wasn’t that hungry but the menu is, to me, irresistible. So, I had sweet potato fries followed by waffle and ice-cream. There was no salad in sight.
Then came Christmas Day. Usually just a bag of buttons after dinner is enough to satisfy my sweet tooth. But on this one day of the year, a proper pudding is in order followed by the whole selection box.
I continued in this vain until I realized that my body felt like the puffy layer I usually wear on the outside of my body had somehow made its way under my skin.
So, today I woke up determined: I was going to be healthy; my body is a temple it’s just in need of essential maintenance work. I drove back to London without so much as a morsel of chocolate or a single mince pie despite salivating just from the knowledge that they were in a bag behind my seat whilst stuck in traffic. In my mind, I was bound for the gym as soon as I was back. Trouble is I felt clammy already and the last time I went to the gym, I felt awfully hot. Not when I did the HIIT class – I was understandably cooking in my own body fat during that – but the time after. So I stupidly said that I would go running with Rhys.
As soon as I said it, I regretted it. But, I had committed to the idea and, on the premise that he was absolutely NOT to take the piss out of my running style, I would do 5K with him.
Now, the thing with being socially awkward is that the sheer heights of self consciousness felt in crowds is trebled when donning sports gear, quadrupled when running, and unbelievably intense when you’re absolutely rubbish at running. Nevertheless I kept going. Around Kensington gardens we went. “This is beautiful, isn’t it?” He says, gaily scamping ahead of me. Meanwhile, I struggled to breathe. My belly was jingling so much under my t-shirt it was tickly, and not in a funny way. I imagined that literally everybody was critiquing my knock-kneed thigh-chaffing arms-flailing style, and didn’t imagine it when a man with a beard like Santa’s and a severe head-bobbing compulsion stopped talking to himself to cheer me on. I’m not jesting – that’s how bad I am at running. Again, I kept going and made it home having completed my 5.6K. Hurrah.
Proud of myself, energized, I cleaned the house, put away all of the Christmas presents, made supper, blah blah blah. Except fast forward a few hours and I can’t move. This is the fall bit. My thighs feel like lead and my feet have blisters. And when I removed my clothes it smelled like I was lifting the lid on the bin. Still, I suppose it’s not all bad. I ran. And I drove all the way here, beyond Olympia, which hitherto, has been as far into the smoke as I dare to venture whilst brandishing a steering wheel! Then again, I should possibly not speak too soon just in case there’s a polite letter from the DVLA for me next week. Bus lane? What bus lane…?!