I started training for my Great Eastern 5K run today. I lasted all of 7 minutes. Sniffles, who was running with me, was aiming for 30 minutes. I don’t think he took me seriously when I said that I had not run for 13 years. And the last time I ran, it was to fail my 2.4. Again. Suffice to say that I never passed my NAFTA before or after secondary school. It is highly possible that I’ve always come in last in the entire cohort for the 2.4. I’ve never been able to run. I remember primary school days, when we had to do the 1.6km run. I always wondered what that was about as I ran up and down the same stretch of grass, all alone, as my other classmates who had completed their run made their way to stand at the end of each lap, cheering me on. In secondary school, I soon learnt that nobody failed their NAFTA in my school. They would make you do it over and over and over again, till you passed. I managed to come in right after my very asthmatic classmate. In junior college, all semblance of discipline and perseverance gave way to apathy.
So, why can’t I run? One word, two entities: Breasts. Oh, and flat feet. And a generally low fitness level. It takes all of 30 seconds for me to get my heart rate to 175 beats per minute. In secondary school, there was a joke that we would give to the teachers as an excuse: our wombs would fall out. And to be frank, it certainly felt that way. It seemed as if everything that could bounce, did, and my feet were just slapping against the ground with each ponderous step. As I was never the sporty type, sporting necessities like the right bra and the right shoes just never occurred to me. In fact, I have vague memories of trying to keep my bra straps from slipping off my shoulders as I ran. Such was the tragedy of my teenage years.
There is definitely a difference between running then and running now. Support and cushioning. I think I can go a long way, if I could only survive the first few steps.