‘What would you do if you were forced to stop running?’
I’d been dreading this question for sometime, and at the excellent Ways With Words Festival in the Lake District on Monday my time finally came. A friend of mine was called into the doctors last month and was told never to run again. He’s still not recovered from the shock. And others who have faced the same ignominy have jumped on the bike with relish. But we all know that it’s not the same.
The truth is that I am not quite sure. My mum keeps going on about my knees. ‘Your knees, your knees!’, and she sound like Peter Sellers dressed up as Quasimodo. ‘The Bells! The Bells!’ (Below at 1 minute 30). She’s just been to the doctor about her own knees, so she may have a point.
Regardless, the question was asked in the same week that I was asked whether I’d ever consider doing an iron man triathlon – 2.4 miles in the water, 112 miles on the bike and then 26.2 miles on foot. Again I ummed and erred, saying something that sounded like I was wimping out – this was also the week when the peddle on my bike sheered off in the middle of Hyde Park leaving me to cycle one-legged up-hill to Camden – no mean feat.
But then all it takes is a reminder of what an iron man can do to you. If you have not seen the below, it is worth watching in its entirety.
So, no, in short I won’t be doing an Iron Man anytime soon, especially given that the talk on Monday was at the foothills of the snow-covered Fells where I’d come three years ago for the Bob Graham. The pictures I took hardly do justice to the beauty of the place, but I deeply regretted not bring my running kit with me, even though I had heard that several people had been rescued off the Fells the day before. There is a certain pride in being reduced to a jibbering wreck by a race, but give me a pair of trainers, an open space and a bit of sunshine and I’m the happiest fool around.