I signed up to run a marathon. Now I don't want to.
So I won’t.
In January, along with, I imagine, hundreds of thousands of other people, thought that 2013 was going to be the year I really got into sport. Come summer I would be running around in Lycra, looking good in baseball caps and would own one of those straps that keeps your iPod attached to you when you’re running.
Clearly, I was kidding myself.
My entire life I have disliked sport. It’s just not me. In the exact same way some people don’t like pickles or musicals or opera, I don’t like sport. Except you don’t get people preaching on mass about the personal sense of achievement you get after a five hour marathon watch of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.
By sport I broadly mean anything that involves running, throwing, catching, team effort, mental discipline and ugly bras.
Now I am not saying that I don’t like exercise – I get that part. I do yoga, I walk a lot, I dance and I swim. These are all fun things for me.
But running? Running!? I happen to have genetically caused low arches (probably a lie) which make running painful. My shins don’t enjoy it and my ankles, still suffering from an unfortunate 2011 New Years Eve fall, get very upset with me when I slam them into hard surfaces multiple times at speed.
So I’m just going to not do it.
I got some sponsorship (not much, three people) which I’ll still give to the chosen charity. So what difference does it make if I actually run the race? Absolutely nothing. If you like sponsees, I will return your money from my own pocket and still donate yours to charity.
I am happy paying not to have to run.
I don’t need some overarching sense of achievement. I don’t need some kind of personal pat on the back.
Don’t try to tell me I might enjoy it, or that I need to try new things.
I know I won’t enjoy it, and any sense of enjoyment that might come out of it would come purely from it being over. If I started doing things willy nilly just to get enjoyment from them finishing well…I would have watched Dirty Dancing 3 a long time ago.
I also try new things all the time. But still…running, isn’t a new thing! People and situations have been forcing me to run for years. Now I am old enough to be able to walk, briskly, away from those situations.
In January I made a mistake and I forgot for a few mad weeks that actually, I am fine not liking sport. I am fine never engaging in the conversations about gait or POBs, I am fine with my level of fitness and I am fine never looking good in a baseball cap.
And January can fuck off for tricking me into thinking I’m not.