Running – I’ve never been good at it. Sure, there have been times in my life where I’ve been fit enough to run for relatively long distances without dying, but I can’t say that I’ve ever enjoyed running for the sake of running. Give me a ball to chase or a person to tackle and I can do it without it bothering me too much, but as soon as you take away some sort of short-term reward system I’m completely fucked.  In my mind, running has always been something to be endured, not a source of joy. It seems that the fitter I get, the harder I can run, but I never feel that I can get to that point where I can go for a casual run without feeling I’m at the absolute edge of my aerobic capacity the majority of the way.

I was always pretty ordinary at it during school as well, although I did make my high school cross country team in grade 10 (albeit as a reserve), but that had more to do with the fact that a number of my classmates’ athletic capabilities had diminished significantly by that stage of school due to their lungs all being completely fucked from smoking monumental amounts of ‘brekky cones’ out the back of the school every morning than it did my non-existent athletic prowess.

Running – Arduous.

These days, I live across the road from Princes Park in Carlton, home to a perfectly flat 3.2km gravel running track. On the odd occasion during this footy season I’ve gone for a laboured jog around it for a bit of extra fitness. I always wait until it’s completely dark to go so that I don’t subject other patrons of the track to the sight of a sweaty and confused monster labouring past them with all the class and composure of a bogan at the end of a summer wedding. (How classic is it when they match the band on their hat with their shirt as if they’re an extra in a B-Grade gangster movie set in the 1920s? Fucking awful…)

Sometimes when I’m busting my arse doing my best to speed around the track, I’ll be passed by two runners chatting to each other nonchalantly as they rocket past me, leaving me in their jetstream. There’s no laboured breathing & no ungainly stride from either of them – they’re just bombing around the track, making me look like the unfit piece of shit that I am. There’s nothing more utterly soul-destroying.

I’m pretty sure they’re football umpires though, so I guess I still win at life.

Fucking umpires.

/end communication