Hola. Hope you are well.
I went to the Open East Festival at the Olympic Park yesterday. I was lucky enough to get in free as I was ‘working’ on my friend’s stall. The festival was part of the Anniversary Games or as I like to call them the ‘Cashing in-versary Games’ (I’m not sure it quite works).
There were plenty of people walking around with their London Olympic T-shirts on, I don’t want to come across like a fashionista but that is sooo last year.
There were many different forms of entertainment at the festival, music, theatre, a bouncy castle Stonehenge and a 60m running track. The latter proved to be significant, at least to me.
When I left my flat earlier that day I had no idea that I would be taking part in a sprint. Even when ‘Her With One Permanent Job’ was pushing me towards the start line like someone’s 6 yr old’s mum, I still wasn’t convinced I’d actually be running the race. I wasn’t kitted out correctly and I had a sore neck from sleeping badly. You’d think I’d have learnt how to sleep properly by now.
Anyway, I’m now at the start line preparing to run this race against other ill-equipped adults and I have to admit I was nervous. Nervous for a race that I didn’t know I would be running 10 mins before. Nervous for a race that is essentially meaningless. I don’t know my competitors, there’s no medals at stake. Yet I’m still nervous, I’m nervous because this isn’t just a fun race to me, this is me clinging onto one of the few things I hold dear, the idea that despite being in my mid to late 30s I can still compete with my former self. One of the things I was when I was younger was a quick runner, a sprinter, someone who always excelled at sports day. Yet now I’m having to put the perception my mind has of me into some sort of reality.
I get a terrible start, my legs are moving but they don’t seem to be generating the necessary power. At about half way I’m up with the leader who is on the lane to my immediate left, he has a slight advantage. At this point I’m thinking I’m not going to win this. Not that many strides later I felt my hamstring tighten, but not enough to put me off and at this stage I’m at my optimum speed. Then something brilliant happens, I move into the lead and I know I’m going to win this race and when I do cross the line first, I have to admit that I am pleased. I feel I have achieved something, I feel I have proved a point to myself, probably that I need to warm up before doing rigorous exercise. And after the euphoria and a few Usain Bolt like poses, I couldn’t help but think that with a bit of training, I could make it to the Rio Olympics.
Til next time, stay safe!