My daily walking routine is gradually morphing into something I’m not supposed to be doing anymore but I just can’t help myself.
Back in 2006 when I was a mere youngster of 40, I started exercising in the form of ‘power walking’ – actually, I don’t know if it really was power walking or just walking fast – probably the latter! We were fortunate to have the Belair National Park on our doorstep and I would drive there and walk in the shadows of magnificent gums to the sound of Kookaburras laughing at me and under the watchful sleepy eyes of koalas and other Australian fauna. It was and still is my special place.
Then one day, I got this Forrest Gump thing in me and I started running – not across the country I hasten to add! I had a little circuit which was 2.5 kms long and once I had managed that a few times, I went around again. Someone mentioned that I should enter the City to Bay Fun Run and as a fairly new resident, didn’t know anything about this major event on the Adelaide calendar. Runners (and walkers) have the option of competing in either a 3km, 6km or 12km race from Adelaide down to the coast at Glenelg. As a novice I thought I’d aim for the 6km – for me, that would be an amazing achievement.
Then began my training (haha!) and before too long I was increasing the laps of my little circuit and before I knew it, was up to 10kms WITHOUT STOPPING! The fun run was in a matter of weeks and before I could talk myself out of it, I’d registered for the full 12kms event. I trained in the park and trained in the neighbourhood – I had the running bug well and truly! I decided to do a spot of fund-raising for my efforts and by the time the first donation landed in my fundraising account, I was committed.
To help with motivation, I put together a ‘Mum’s Running’ playlist on my iPod; a real mixture of tunes from Beyonce to the Scissor Sisters; tunes I liked for the rhythm and beat – to keep me going. These tunes did keep me going, during the run itself. I finished – without stopping – in one hour and fourteen minutes; not fast by any stretch, but it was all my own doing and I was incredibly proud of myself for what I’d achieved at the same time raising money for the UK Leukaemia Research Fund.
Fast forward fourteen years. A lot has happened since that 2006 fun run, most notably a herniated disc (a while ago now), which put a stop to any running. But thankfully, I have recovered from that and with the assistance of moderated pilates exercises and exercises specifically to aid back injury recovery, I have been in tip-top shape for months and months.
With my gym membership on hold and no access to cardio machines, I’ve been walking the suburbs of Brisbane (we’re allowed to do that here) and a couple of weeks ago, my old friend Forrest Gump paid me a visit and now I find myself jogging once again. I needed tunes to power me along. One of the challenges with today’s smartphones is that they are so big and a bit too chunky for sliding down the inside of jogging pants (sorry for the image that just popped into your head). As luck would have it, following a self-isolation sort out, I discovered my little trusty iPod, and being about the size of a playing card, would fit perfectly into the key pocket of my jogging pants (that’s better). The challenge then was to find an appropriate charger which was going to be unlikely seeing that Apple seem to change the design of chargers with every new release. As luck would have it, Chief knew exactly where the bag of spare chargers was located and before too long the little old iPad was charged up; given that it is around 16 years old, I wasn’t holding out much hope for much life.
To my delight, the battery is holding up well and I’ve used it several times now to keep my motivation boosted. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reliving memories of my running days from 2006 when I was in training. One of the songs is Justin Timberlake, What Goes Around, Comes Around; how appropriate I thought! Then Katy Perry, Fireworks. The first line is ‘do you ever feel like a plastic bag, drifting through the wind, wanting to start again.‘ Yep, I thought, I reckon right now we are all feeling just like that.
So as we continue to do the right thing and practise social distancing, remember Katy Perry also sings in the song Fireworks, that ‘after the hurricane comes the rainbow’. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for that day. Stay healthy!unsplash-logoHarald Arlander