Mike Simpson

I Dont Go There Anymore

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Someone recently asked me - ''Why don't you start running again?'' 

In my mind I'm laughing and thinking - you idiot, what a ridiculous question! You have no idea you buffoon! I'm not sure what I actually said out loud but the notion was dismissed instantly.

 The following happened the last time I tried going for a run;

 During the 1st mile: 'This is so easy, why did I ever stop'.

 During the 2nd mile: 'This is quick, I'll be back to 29 minute 10k shape in no time. Absolute piece of piss'.

 During the 3rd mile: 'Oh my knee didn't like those last few seconds and is that calf cramping slightly?'

 During the 4th mile: 'Aww my knee, Christ that hurts. Awww shit now I've pulled my calf. What a idiot I was a few minutes ago, I think it's time to walk home'.

In fact I think that was pretty much the same the last few times I tried to run. Now the clever people out there would have given me an elaborate schedule to gently build up over months and include many exercises, stretches and multiple physio appointments. To be honest I can't be arsed with all that anymore, the desire is no longer that great. My body clearly rejected running a long time ago.

I do find myself, when riding my bike crossing paths (literally) with my old running routes and places. My mind drifts to a different time, when intensity and commitment was the priority. It was a compulsion and not always a healthy one. My relaxed, less obsessive approach of the last 10 years has been so much more enjoyable and rewarding. 

There are old friends I miss of course from the running scene and I even sometimes miss the places and venues I used to go to race but there is one place I do not miss. It was a place I used to go to get away from things, to hide I guess. In my mind it was a place only I knew. In reality, of course, many would go there. Sometimes to think, sometimes to be alone or sometimes to shout out loud. Always better for going there but always wishing I didn't have to. I'm pleased I don't need it anymore.

Overall though, the years spent running were such a laugh, we had such a mad, fun time at Hounslow Athletics Club but that intensity and hedonism was never going to be sustainable.

So I am not a runner and will not try to be one again. I'm just happy for all the things I can still do, I never over glorify the past to myself, it was only the mess you went through to become the person you are. So yes, there was a time when running and sport was the most important thing but not now, not by a long way. It’s my demons that have been on the run and they are long gone.


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