Slice of Life: Running started with a block

I never thought I would be a runner but, in October, I will have been running for three years. In three weeks time, I will be running one of my favourite half-marathons: Skukuza.

The truth is, I was not athletic. I had never exercised. I would go as far as saying that I spent in excess of three decades being downright idle. One summer afternoon, inspired and encouraged by my naturally and brilliantly athletic husband, I decided to run around the block.

Kitted out in dusty cross-trainers I set out on my mission. Needless to say, I could not run around the block. I managed about 300m before facing a choice between walking the rest of the way and sprawling face down on the tarmac in the hope that a motorist would put me out of my misery.

Call it self-preservation but I chose the less gory option and trudged the rest of the way, each footfall a reminder of how unfit I was.

The next day I tried to run around the block again. And the next. And the next. Until one day I felt the exhilaration of achieving my goal. I could run around the block. In the weeks that followed, I ran around the block and then the next block and still some more blocks. I needed more blocks.

I dropped a pin into Google and searched for “running clubs closest to here” and chose the closest one.

The most important thing I have learnt is that anyone can be a runner. All it requires is the desire to run around the block. — Lyndall Kenyon, with Run/Walk For Life, as told to Gemma Ritchie

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