Behaving like a professional sportsman … but not a good one
We are in the Cotswolds for Christmas. I brought the bike and went out for a short ride the other morning. It was wet and windy and I was thankful for mudguards as I splashed through endless muck and puddles. However, severe weather warnings were in place for today so I decided to run instead of cycle. Fear of slipping on wet roads or being blown off made it seem a more sensible option.
I ran 5 miles along the remains of an old Roman Road. Part of the route was solid trail, but mostly it was slippery and wet with ankle-deep mud. Hills, wind, driving rain and my lack of fitness all added to the challenge. Just when I thought it was going ok, I completely lost my footing and crashed to the ground, landing in the foetal position in a giant puddle, smashing my knee on a rock and screaming in agony like the little baby I looked like. In fact, it was worse than that: I reacted like a Premier League footballer who’d been touched in the penalty area, clutching my knee and screaming at the sky. With nobody for miles, my pathetic cries were instantly absorbed by the bleak surroundings. The rain continued to fall, the wind whipped the puddle into my face and after a few more futile shouts of pain mixed with frustration mixed with humiliation, I dragged myself to my feet and hobble-jogged the last mile home.
Back home, I cleaned myself up, bandaged my knee and tried to ignore the nagging feeling that I’d probably over-reacted just a little bit. It hurt, I was tired, it was cold, I landed in a puddle. But were the blood-curdling screams like I’d been shot really necessary? I behaved like a bloody footballer. If all this outdoor exercise is supposed to make you tough, then I’ve still got a long way to go …