Thursday, May 1, 2014

My Year 9 Photo

I went for a run this morning... it's not something I do a lot but there's something about an impending wedding day that makes me think, "Hmmm, maybe the wedding dress won't have magical properties that counteract cholesterol".

Last week I went to an exercise class called "Kettle Bells" and I can thoroughly recommend it if there is anyone on this planet you hate with the fire of a thousand fascist suns. It largely involves a middle aged blonde woman shouting at you for being a cross between lazy and pathetic. Exercises must be completed holding the equivalent of a Snickers addicted 2 year old whilst jumping about to music you normally need to be holding a Jaegerbomb to enjoy.

So today I jogged. Jogging is solo, focused, quiet and nice. Actually, jogging is horrible isn't it? It's all feet and chest pains and worrying that your clothing looks worse than your arm action. What are you supposed to do with your arms? Waving them about seems frivolous, trying to pump them like I've seen others do feels like I'm pretending to be a better runner than I actually am, leaving them by my side makes it look like I'm running to the nearest toilet.

I decided to run laps of a nearby field. The only trouble with this field is that it's really near a school. It means I'm not allowed to run round one half of the field because it falls as "within 500 metres of a minor"... no, sorry, that's not a problem any more. It means there are quite often 16 year old boys near the field and 16 year old boys are my nemesis.

I didn't like them when I was 16, I don't like them when I was 18 and I don't like them now I'm 27. They're mean and judgey and they look at you like you've definitely picked the wrong thing to do with your arms and your trainers are far too old to be worn in public.

As I rounded the corner to where today's 16 year olds were loitering I obviously started dealing with their catcalls in my mind so that if they should shout anything I would be ready to deal with it. They started with the basics in my imaginary confrontation...

Them: "Get those knees up, fatty""
Me: "Grow up!" (Professional comedian see?)
Them: "Keep running, Forrest!" (Damn, they're wittier and broader viewed than I thought.)
Me: "Yeah? Well your mum's just like a box of chocolates: play with her for too long and she makes your fingers sticky. And brown."
Them: "What?" (Bollocks, either that was shitter than I thought or they haven't actually seen the film and now they think I'm insane).
Me: "Just fuck off."

There's a small gap here while I jog round the rest of the field and then get back to where I'm having my imaginary row with them.

Them: "Still going then chunky?"
Me: "Yeah, been running nearly as long as you've had pubes." (BOOM!)
Them: "You'd love to see my pubes wouldn't you?"
Me: "Oh for sure, but I haven't got my magnifying glass with me, so..."

And then they stab me.

I wish my internal fight fantasies included fewer slams and stabbings but that's just the way things go. I have the opposite of that "always think of the right thing to say 4 hours later" issue... I am pretty good in the moment when the adrenaline's up, but when it's just me with no pressure I am terrible. I write these blog posts with one nipple in a mousetrap to give me that edge.

My imaginary murdered body had been found by the time I rounded the bottom end corner and was being reported in the local paper. To my horror I realised that should I be despatched here and now the headline would read: "Jogger's body found murdered in Hove fields".

"Jogger's body"??? How can history remember me as a jogger? Surely the post mortem will reveal my chubby thighs, my flat feet and absolutely no stress on my hips and knees that indicates a penchant for jogging? How can they perpetuate this lie that I am a jogger?

Suddenly, my worst nightmare scenario of my Year 9 school photo (with the braces and the bun) being shown in the paper instead of one of the many headshots I've paid hundreds for is being played out alongside the heinous accusation of being a jogger.

It was a total coincidence that I got home and saw in the paper that the toxicology report for Peaches Geldof indicates that it could be a heroin overdose. How sad that on the same day a brilliant budding comedian was reduced to a "jogger", a talented, creative young mother and wife will be reduced to a "heroin addict" or "druggie". People will ask why I couldn't just keep away from my exercise addiction long enough to carve out a life for myself, why couldn't Peaches stay clean for her kids? We'll be reduced to the way we died instead of celebrated for how we lived. Seems sad.

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