Running (wo)man

March 26, 2014 § 11 Comments

This morning, I went for my first run in probably 20 years. Please don’t take that to mean that I was a runner 20 years ago – I’m fairly allergic to exercise. And when I say I went for a run, I half shuffled, half jogged around most of our block. But I was inspired by my friend, Cath Jenkin, who started doing something similar a few weeks ago. Do read her article about it here – it’s a worthwhile read.

I’d like to emphasise that I am not a natural athlete, and that’s putting it very politely. I am built for comfort, not for speed. I like to tell people that I have a body of steel, but I keep it bubble-wrapped so it can’t be damaged. I’m also completely unco-ordinated and terminally unfit. So for me to choose to go for a run was a Big Deal.

I laced myself into my lumo running shoes, said a silent prayer to whomever the gods of running might be – Usain Bolt, probably – and set off. I was about halfway when I ran past a man on the street. A man with just one arm. I wheezed and puffed a cheery greeting at him as he pressed the doorbell at one of my neighbours’ houses. He looked at me, deadpan, and tutted. “You’re only going at a three-quarter pace,” he said, not bothering to return my greeting.

My first thought was: “Why does this always happen to me?”

The last time I remember running, was just over 20 years ago when I lived in a flat opposite a school. The school was on a fair-sized block, and so I decided I would try and run around it. On my way, I met a small, lithe woman running effortlessly in the opposite direction. In other words, a woman who was the exact opposite of me.

She ran past me, greeted me, and continued on her way. Or so I thought until moments later when I heard her coming back. She caught up with me and fixed me with a quizzical gaze. More accurately, she fixed my boobs with a quizzical gaze. I’m used to this reaction from men – I have a fairly splendid pair of double dangs, if I may say so – but I don’t usually get this response from women.

Then she looked me in the eye and said: “I don’t know how you run with those. It must be very difficult.” And then she ran off again, leaving me completely flabbergasted and slightly demoralised.

So that’s why I strapped on two industrial-strength bras before I left for this morning’s foray. It’s also why I sometimes think twice about exercising in public. Because the public are damn rude, don’t you think?


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§ 11 Responses to Running (wo)man

  • countesskaz says:

    ha ha ha. what a hoot. I laughed out loud there! good luck to you and your splendid pair of double dangs.
    I too am allergic to exercise and also have a splendid set of twins. Run Forest Run!


  • Di Brown says:

    As the owner of hard to see boobs, I tell you, that women was just sooo jealous. I too am allergic to exercise, but swimming lengths in a home pool (read short lengths) is great, and your boobs don’t get in the way. Or just go for a walk and proudly strut those babies.


  • cath says:


    When I was 14, and forced to do the dreaded PE lessons in high school…

    Once, my then PE Teacher, obviously tired of me being the last bedraggled one at the end of the pack after 85 loops around the field, attempted to “motivate” me.

    She said “Catherine, show us how you run. You run so funny. We can all sit here and watch while you entertain us”.

    And. I. Was. Made. To. Run. Across. The. Field. While the rest of the class watched my bum waggle.

    And laughed.

    I didn’t run again. For years. Ever. I am, like you, allergic to exercise.

    I would occasionally, take a run around the block when I was angry. It helped.

    I stopped doing that two years ago.

    This morning, just as I was cresting a hill, that teacher’s voice banged in my head again, and I thought “Yeah. Screw you, bitch. Watch me run funny now, 20 years later”.

    Sod people. And they can watch our asses as we walk-run-jog-die past.

    They’re sitting on their bums anyway


    • Tracy Todd says:

      Love your attitude! The mere fact that you can put one foot in front of the other is reason enough to go out for a run if you want to, irrespective of whether you waggle or not. Some of us have been denied that privilege. So yeah, sod those big mouths. You go girl!


  • Trishpp says:

    Yes, it is very difficult to run when we are amply bosomed. We don’t need the likes of the rude woman to tell us. Maybe it is time for those of us who are built for comfort and not for speed to wage war on those who look like hollow shrunken cadavers … but then we are far too nice and polite.


  • Tracy Todd says:

    Yes, Mandy, people can be so rude. Sometimes it’s hard to ignore. But as long as you can place one foot in front of the other, you owe it to yourself to do whatever exercise you can even if it’s a half-dying-walk-run. You go girl!


  • okeating says:

    I bet she was just jealous!


  • mariekeates says:

    That is precisely why I don’t run! Instead I make an idiot of myself by power walking. Hubby tells me I look stupid and not to do it while I’m with him but he’s a skinny runner. I comfort myself with the thought my knees will last longer than his.


  • Kit says:

    I’m not a natural runner either, probably also due to the acute teen self-consciousness of having big boobs. The only time in my life that I jogged was when I first met my husband and was trying to show willing on a fitness kick… when I got shin splints, I stopped and never took it up again. Much prefer walking anyway!


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