Deirdre O’Connell can you hear me?
I know I was a disappointment to you. Not all speed and golden limbs like the Team Captains. Crying on cross country runs and having no coordination did not make me a top pick in a PE class, although my lack of concern about my appearance made me more enthusiastic about hockey than some of the well coiffed and manicured Essex girls I grew up with.
In my young day there were two types of girls. Nerdy swots, or gorgeous sportswomen
You can guess which category I fitted when reading this report entry, from the above Miss O’Connell PE.
“Jane continues to try to give us her best, but PE is not her strongest subject area”
I followed up the crying on runs with throwing up during a time trial in a biology class about physiology. Genius.
Encouraged by parents who felt thinking was more important than running, and an “everyone in our family is rubbish at sport anyway” I stuck to regularly being bad at ballet-and gave up on everything non dance related.
So what changed?
The Gym. A place where you could turn up follow a programme and go home.A place that children (when I became that stay at home mum) were not allowed.Suddenly fitness became attainable, and what is more I found that it affected my mood positively.
Then I became that other parent-a parent of children with additional needs.
I began to dream of running. (Excuse me I think my subconscious is showing)
However, how could I, a person who was interested in reading and thinking, the last person picked in every team, an enthusiastic but talentless dancer who had picked up a longstanding ankle injury during a ballet exam(yes truly) possibly run.
I pronate, I am gangly running couldn’t possibly be for (as my mother would put it) ‘The Likes of Me” could it?
I never did my D of E. Did I mention I’m not the sporty type? When the first born started to do her bronze I was desperately trying to pay her back for having been ineffective enough to have produced a sibling who took up all my time.
“Don’t worry about the sport challenge we can do Couch to 5 k together”I said blithely.
And so, between caring for a small needy person, a middle child with latent Aspergers, and working part time as a Speech Therapist,I laced up my trainers and plodded.
Nobody told me what this meant.Couch to 5K if you haven’t come across it, is an easy accessible way to start running.You walk/run over an 8 week period until you can run for 5k. Despite feeling I couldn’t run for 5 minutes much less 5km we carried on.
I say we. We started in February. 3 weeks in Dof E girl who gets asthma got terrible hayfever and asthma and stopped, And I just couldn’t.
How the above has led to me signing up to run the London Marathon-a Marathon Miss O’Connell-might take a bit more explaining.
But that is a story for another day.
If you feel inclined, sponsors for my Marathon challenge can be made here .They will both encourage me in my training and help people ( like my wonderful Mum) living with Alzheimer’s.