Saturday, 18 October 2014
I was slowing down to a red light when Near Naked Runner passed me on the other side of the road.
Tanned skin, leathery from years of exposure to the sun, he wore only shorts, socks and runners. His bald, conker-like head seemed to highlight his state of undress.
He ran steadily, his pace unchanging, oblivious to, or uncaring of the stares he attracted.
That it was 17 degrees in October, bore no relevance to his attire. I have seen this agile, older man before. He runs like this in the bitter cold and lashing rain.
It made me think of all the other runners out there, day after day, dark evenings and cold rain and icy winds. They run to be fit, to lose weight, to improve bone density. They run because it releases powerful endorphins, that we all know about now.
They come home to hot showers, warm-limbed and high on the feeling that only exercise can bring.
Walking is fine, other walkers tell me. Much better in fact. The impact of hard roads and concrete paths on runners' joints is no joke.
Friends of mine who've taken up running in the last while, look surprised when I mention this. You build up to it slowly, they say. And the muscles develop around the joints, helping to protect them.
So what's stopping me? Laziness? Fear? Lack of organisation? If you really want to do something, you'll find the time. Instead of writing this, I could be out there. Running.
I wonder why the hell I haven't joined them.
Because I'm fast running out of excuses.