Nine weeks. Nine weeks of intermittently hating and fearing a computer voice. Nine weeks of sweating more than any other time in my life combined (including that Death From Above 1979 gig I went to years ago). Nine weeks of cursing my knees and my joints, of being so out of breath it hurts, of limping around my office and grunting like an old man, of confusing dietary advice and grim determination or an approximation of it anyway. All to be able to run for half an hour solid. Doesn’t seem like much but it sure as shit feels like a lot.
The app kind of gipped me in that week 9 wasn’t a proper week at all but just three half-hour runs which acted like a series of laps of honour. The eighth week just added one more minute every work-out until we got to the full thirty and when I finished that final run of week 8, the first 30-minute run of my life, I nigh collapsed in relief. I didn’t feel much else really, just relief. I don’t know what I was expecting, a hearty congratulations from Alison or Jim if she wasn’t feeling up to it? A secret compartment to open up in my phone to fart out confetti and play a desperate little fanfare with a tiny, tinny horn? Maybe they’re working on that for the next update. But there I stood, in the dark, in the place where cats like to attack me, panting and gasping with my hands on my knees, eight weeks after the point where I decided I really needed to do some sodding exercise. Looking back it feels good but at the time I was just bloody knackered.
It feels good to have accomplished something though. And the fact that it’s something that has an actual benefit to me directly makes it even better. It never felt like a hardship because I was always impressed with myself for finishing every work-out. Maybe I have low expectations for myself but that works out perfectly because it made me feel good about myself for surprising myself. That’s the thing about low expectations: you always either proved right or pleasantly surprised. Either way you win.
I’m sure that sort of thinking won’t go into my app’s database of inspirational quotes however. This has to be my least favourite aspect of the app. Every time you start a work-out, the bell chimes, Alison squawks and a namby-pamby touchy-feely little quote pops up on the screen. Now usually they’re harmless enough, something about reaching goals and such. Today’s was about how everyone needs to get a rush from somewhere and this no-name gets his rush from racing. Now ey, No-name! Who said anything about racing? I’d barely stumble over the finish line. This body was built for comfort, not for speed (sculpted and toned as it now is). The absolute worst quote digitally spewed up onto my screen was this little gem:
“Even if you fall flat on your face, you’re still moving forward”.
I’m sorry but what the cock is that? That’s like responding to a daughter who is crying and worrying she’s fat by saying ‘don’t worry, a lot of fat people are really happy’. This was ‘written’ by someone called Sue Luke who doesn’t have a Wikipedia page so she can’t be very important. A quick googling reveals a Sue Luke who does hand-painted portraits of pets and I just bet, I bloody bet, that’s her! I bet it isn’t even her real name. I bet she made it up when she realised how shit that quote was. ‘Oh god, that’s awful. But they want the inspirational quote by five and it’s ten to now! And I still have this Labrador to paint.’ And then presumably she just picked two of her, I’m assuming numerous, cats to give her a new pen name. Yes I’m imaging she is the kind of person who would name her cats things like Sue and Luke because she’s the kind of person who writes shitty inspirational quotes.
Sorry Sue, that got away from me a bit there. But I guess that’s a sign of things getting back to normal round here. The endless musings on running a short distance will now give way to the usual rants and nonsensical babblings on whatever subject happens to pop into my head. Never you worry, business as usual next week. So I’m stopping the running now? No but I’m glad you asked that. I don’t plan on stopping. That would kind of put the whole event a little bit on the useless side. I’d rather this be the start of staying in shape rather than a mere curiosity. Remember that one time I went running? What was I thinking eh? Another lard burger please garcon. No. In fact I’m going to trade up to the ‘Bridge to 10k’ app in the very near future.
But don’t worry, I won’t be writing about that. That’ll just be me being an athlete. No big deal.
I’m David Hetherington and that flailing old sod never did smile at me!