I CAN’T imagine many of us spring out of the door with a light heart every time we go for a run. For me at least, there is too often that little voice inside my head telling me I don’t absolutely have to go and there’s no harm in being lazy just this once. I shout back – and go.
Naturally, we question our sanity when home seems a more sensible option as the rain lashes down or it’s minus 5 degrees. But get out there we must, and thoughts of the comfortable sofa or the toasty duvet are consigned to the bin, along with our own misgivings.
Once out, as we know, it is rarely as bad as we might have expected. The rewards are great, not least the rosy (sweaty?) glow of achievement, and they are always ours for the taking.
Sometimes, though, they may be harder to come by. I thought of this the other day when, having made the superhuman effort to get work out of the way, change into my kit and propel myself out of the house, I found one of my favourite routes blocked off by a bossy sign. My instinct was, I’m afraid, to check no one was looking and just run round it. Then I thought how silly, not to say hurt, I would feel if I got squashed under a falling tree, so I turned away and took another path.
The last time I’d headed along this alternative route was in October, when I ended up ankle-deep in mud, but I thought I’d give it another try. Big mistake. There are several cattle grids along the track and, after negotiating two, mincing my way round the edges while clinging on to the side-posts, I found the third one was overflowing with floodwater.
This was a run that was fated from the start, I thought, as I splashed and squelched my way back home in shoes that really hadn’t deserved to be so severely dunked. I will return there once the water table has gone down and the weather starts behaving again.
It goes like that, sometimes, so that ‘just going out for a run’ turns into a mini-adventure. Yes, there may be barriers, but in my experience they’re all there to be overcome, one way or another.