Let’s talk about running shall we, we’re all adults here… It’s a bit like masturbation in that most people I know do it, but they don’t really like to talk about it. It’s embarrassing and not very louche or cool. You don’t imagine Birthday Party era Nick Cave jogging. Johnny Cash wouldn’t have been seen dead in Lycra. I’m always surprised when someone tweets about the run they’ve just had, it seems like extraneous personal information and I wonder why anybody else would be interested in that? “Just ejaculated across the room in 4 minutes 38. Keep abreast of your tossing with @wankchecker”.
Running is like crack cocaine for people approaching middle age who want to maybe keep some teeth. It feels pretty good and it’s less likely to kill you or send you to jail. I’m not sure about that phrase “it’s better than drugs” mind you. People who say exercise is better than drugs have clearly never taken any fucking drugs. But endorphins are definitely drugs for old people who’ve managed not to O.D. or choke on their own vomit and are now looking for a little kick now and again.
So now comes some boasting, and I’m allowed to boast because it’s my blog. Since I’ve taken my running inside – I love Buttes Chaumont but it doesn’t have a mini-VDU screaming at you to go faster in digits of satanic crimson – I’ve twice run 5k in under 20 minutes. Just. My last effort was 19.48, my personal best. How’s that for hypocrisy, sharing that with you after all I’ve just said?
According to an interactive Guardian thingy, that puts me in the top 6%-10% of males in the UK, which is not bad for a man of my vintage, although strictly speaking I don’t live in that country any more (though we’ll assume its fairly similar for France). Claire is worried I’m going to Andrew Marr myself, but actually, I think it’s just that the machine I’m using has diagrams and laps on it and it doesn’t make a preposterous amount of noise or feel like its going to fall apart any time soon like in my old gym. It’s what I would call sleek and cutting edge, but then I think the opening credits to the Six Million Dollar Man look futuristic, or maybe that’s just wishful thinking.
It feels nice to be fit again, and that’s about as interesting as my life is right now. Things have settled down a little bit and when I see a beautiful tree I don’t feel the need to splutter “It’s a beautiful tree… in PARIS!” all over the internet as much any more. I still find my surroundings breathtaking but bleating on about it every day in blog form is probably a little much. I’ve been taking a break from writing this in order to do some proper writing anyway and it’s coming… slowly. I’m living the dream, or the cliché, depending on how you look at it… and I’m trying to enjoy the process of it, but in actual fact nobody enjoys the process of doing anything. We enjoy completing whatever it is for a hot 20 minutes after its finished, and we don’t really hear anything anyone else says as we’re too busy basking in our own applause at that point. Then we get bored of whatever it was we’ve just done and have to start from scratch again. That applies to every artistic endeavour I’ve ever been involved in.
It could take a very long time this book I’m attempting to write, and then at the end of it all it may not get published anyway unless I become a famous footballer in the meantime, though given that I’m nearly as old as Jimmy Greaves I suspect that’s not going to happen. Why don’t we just get on with it and see what happens? Thankful with all the endorphins rushing around my body deluding me with positivity, I’ll plough on regardless.