Should I lose the Lycra?

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This morning, out with the dog I considered whether I should get rid of my Lycra.

Nothing fancy, just some running shorts and t-shirts. Mostly from 15 years ago, the year my son was born, and I ran the Sheffield marathon – the one that resulted in multiple hospitalisations because of the extreme heat and the hills.

I have struggled with running ever since, gradually allowing myself to deteriorate, participating in the odd half-marathon, all the way to my current walking.

Now, walking is a good form of exercise – so long as it’s brisk and of sufficient duration.

We’re not talking speed-walking here, more, a pace that gets you places.

This form of walking generally requires boots and whatever the weather dictates – t-shirt and shorts or raincoat; it can be done every day and there is no Lycra.

Yet, I still have my Lycra drawer.

Somewhere inside me is the notion that I might get back to the heady heights of five-hour runs across rough ground, when I would sup from my Camelbak in the runner’s high.

I used to get injuries too; sore ankles and knees. I am not a natural aesthete – my body shape is I believe more adapted to trekking across the desert than running in the high country.

Walking has not ever, as far as I can remember injured me.

The bike has resulted in fractured skull and arm, the running, bursitis and torn muscles, by comparison, walking seems benign; it is also a good way to spend time with my dog.

I am not trying to sell walking as an activity, although I suspect if more people got out there, the world would be a happier place.

My kids joke about the mamil’s as they cycle past at the weekends.

There is less of a risk of fashion faux pas in non-Lycra activity.

I am not suggesting there is anything bad or wrong with the stretchy fabric, it is more that I am feeling my age, with the realisation that a more sedate activity is likely to allow me to keep going for longer; my days of sprinting are gone.

It is true, if I refer to the literature that there is no too late age to start running, cycling or serious outdoor aerobic exercise; I suspect some of this reflects the stage a person reaches when they realise that who they are is what they are and the future is likely to remain stable – I don’t mean life, that will surely continue to oscillate, no, who I am, my shape, size, physical and physiological dimensions are pretty fixed, now and into the future, and, likely the Lycra can go, and make room for something else.

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PS Photos from this morning’s walk.

5 Comments

  1. Rod,

    My friend, who is just recovering from throat cancer, is a jogger. He’s in his mid-50s. Been jogging for years. After his, hopefully permanent, recovery, he donned the gutties and back out he went. He’s into his stride again and jogging away like there’s no tomorrow (there may not have been).

    During one of his marathons, he sent me a picture of a Sikh who is world famous for running marathons around the globe. The fellow is past 100: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCY0Xx92YvQ

    See the video around 2:06, running the London marathon. He was 101 and started jogging in his 80s.

    Methinks that the key element to a healthy life is a dramatic reduction in the rubbish we eat.

    Fauja is now 108… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fauja_Singh

    Get fit!

    Nigel
    .

    Liked by 1 person

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