Wednesday, 20 July 2011

A chance to stretch my legs

Of all the things I love to watch the 10yr old do; running and swimming are near top of the list.  It’s not just an appreciation of her talent (or those gazelle-like legs!) but also a chance to wallow in some good memories.  At school, I loved to swim and sprint.  Precious little else about sport interested me, but swimming and sprinting gave me a sense of freedom that I relished.  That freedom was cut short and proper exercise and I parted ways. 

Now particularly, I am more used to my body feeling like it is clad in an old deep sea diver’s suit as the thyroid can make everything feel achy, heavy and listless.  Added to other delights, such as dizziness and palpitations, and I have long stopped thinking of myself and sport in the same sentence.  My only regular exercise is my morning walk with the dobe.  It is more a determination to shake my body out of its lethargy than an appreciation of the time itself and most days leaves me exhausted rather than invigorated.

So, it was with some trepidation that I looked at the programme for Sports’ Day yesterday and saw the “Mum’s Race”.  I have been long overdue a visit to Sports’ Day, but as this was the 10yr old’s first at the new school some hollering and photographs was in order.  It was a lovely sunny day, I was dressed appropriately and could run barefoot, and the 10yr old was frantically waving at me to stand up and volunteer; so I did. 

A 50m flat race dash: I would have been happy just to finish, placing 4th (or thereabouts) out of 7 would have made me very pleased.  As it was, following a small stumble in which I managed a cartoon-like cartwheel of my feet to keep my balance, I found a speed and dexterity that I didn’t know I possessed any longer.  The realisation came with such an intense delight that from then on it was a race I wanted to win: head down, arms pumping, legs stretching… for a few seconds I regained a measure of the girl I was 20 something years ago.  I won with a whoop and a skip that does not go down so well in a tiny village that typifies our fabulous English reserve; but, sorry folks, I could not help myself.  If it’s any consolation, I can barely move my legs this morning; but even that’s an experience I am enjoying… if it is through gritted teeth!
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