The cold wind danced up my shorts and I found myself crying as I moved between puddles

January’s such a stupid time to make resolutions

Share
Related Topics

God, it’s difficult to keep your resolutions going as 2014 gets into its stride. I’m supposed to be running, but today’s was a real wrench. I’ve had a difficult few weeks motivation-wise, so it was my first of the year, and it’s left me breathless and bent double, barely able to talk, smoke or remove my headphones.

I should say, too, what happened just now wasn’t really running. Not really. It was a slow, loud jog. The sound of my massive feet slapping in the mud. The bagpiping yelp of my lungs struggling to cope with my resolution.

Occasionally, my red-raw lips fired out an expletive-riddled grunt. Ugly. But at least I was out there doing something. This was 11am. There would have been some people still not yet awake, or awake but eating white toast or bacon or curry. I was doing the right thing. I was turning over a new leaf.

Up there on the heath, the thin rain blew into my eyes and stuck my forelock to my face. The cold wind danced up my shorts and I found myself crying as I moved between the puddles. I was not alone this morning. Some humans are still sticking to their plan. Through the mist I saw many big units, still with turkey feathers hanging from their chops, brandy butter smeared on their chins. Terrible apparitions, gowned in bright, new tracksuits, chugging through mud, struggling up hills, trying to wobble off a few ounces. Occasionally they fell. Their velour became sodden, drinking in a puddle. More joggers stepped over their broken frames. Cursing, knackered. No one wanted to be there.

I know how they feel. January’s such a stupid time to make resolutions. A part of me wants to run, it really does, but look at the weather, man. Rancid, icy drizzle. So unappetising. Lying in bed, the condensation weeping down my windows, the wind clattering my wind chime, the last thing I want to do is swap my warm nest for that horseshit. Recently I slept with a girl who had such soft, comforting sheets, I got the details and bought a set. Wrapping my body in those seems a far more appealing AM prospect than exposing myself to the elements.

But I’m taking this seriously. I’ve reinvested the money I earn as a columnist into scientifically appropriate footwear. On New Year’s Day I went to a shop where someone filmed me running so I could be fitted with trainers that matched my feet. A 25-year-old man observed me as I stripped to my sports underwear and ran while he videoed me. Occasionally I would hear him say the word “splayed” as he observed my duck-like technique. But I must have been doing something right because I danced away with a £95 pair of yellow and white Asics.

What is the end game? Surely it can’t be to haul my sorry frame through the  shitty elements week-on-week. I think I’m trying to recapture former glories. I’ve run a marathon (4:04:05). I’ve run a half marathon (1:36:35). I used to be thin at school. And now I’m reduced to this. A 14-stone writer, crawling past ponds and struggling up hills in a headband. That is what I did this morning. That is why I need a pint of Ribena so bad.

I reached Parliament Hill and squinted down to where I had come from. Sunshine made the wet grass sparkle. The panorama was peppered with citizens plodding gallantly. I gulped in the fresh air of London and threw my hands into the sky. This is worth it! I hurtled down the hill at breakneck pace, got a stitch, slowed to a walk and ambled home wincing.

The stairs up to my flat were too much, and I sprawled upon them, pointing vaguely with my key in the hope that the door would open. Then I hauled myself in and lay in my bathroom like a prawn. It’s doing me good. It will get easier. It isn’t natural. But I won’t be defeated.

React Now

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Systems Analyst (Retail)

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Up to 20% bonus: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: An...

Technical BA - Banking - Bristol - £400pd

£400 per hour: Orgtel: Technical Business Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £400pd...

Head of Digital Marketing,London

To £58k Contract 12 months: Charter Selection: Major household name charity se...

Lead Hand - QC

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Lead Hand - QCProgressive are recruiting...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Simon Usborne: The more you watch pro cycling, the more you understand its social complexity

Simon Usborne
 

i Editor's Letter: The final instalment of our WW1 series

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice