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You Must Be So Fit

Thursday 26th December 2013

I’ve started having these strange feelings recently. It all started a couple of weeks ago when I fell asleep on the sofa before 9pm. This wasn’t the only time it happened either. On a couple of occasions in the last few weeks I’ve found myself nodding off during quiet periods at work. My appetite has shot up, my body craving fuel and water like a car on a long journey.

There’s nothing wrong. I’m not getting ill, I’m not getting old, and I’m certainly not concerned. I’ve started training again, and am now trying to get used to a feeling that was once normal. Feeling exhausted is usually the norm for me, mere background noise to my daily routine. I get used to it. When I got injured I suddenly found myself feeling awake during the day time, able to get out of a chair without groaning like an old man, eating what most people would consider to be normal amounts. I was pretty close to being a fully functional human being with training not sapping me of all my energy. It felt good.

That has all changed now my foot has healed. The other day I had an X-ray which showed no signs of damage and the sports injury specialist at the QE Hospital told me to crank the training up to full volume, an act akin to telling an alcoholic to stock up on vodka. I duly obliged.

I was reflecting on this in the pub the other evening with two runner friends (before I went home to sleep, of course) and they could identify with my experiences. Rob was amused by the fact that ‘normal’ people tell us we must be so fit when they hear how much running we do. It’s hard to feel fit, though, when you can’t walk up stairs at work without discomfort, when you say no to a game of football because of your sore legs, and when going out to see live music becomes an act of endurance because of how long you have to stand up for. As a good friend once remarked “it takes a lot of commitment to appear as antisocial as we do.”

People seem envious of what they deem to be incredible discipline and work ethic, of your slim build and strong heart. I think if people knew what it was really like they wouldn’t be so jealous.

I can see why so many people quit running. They get fed up of feeling worn out all the time, fed up of the amount of training required to get to and stay at a decent level. It’s a huge effort to put in and it would be much easier to just be ‘normal.’ Not just yet though.