It’s Wednesday and, yet again, it’s 6.30am and I’ve been up since 5am and I’m at London Bridge and it’s dark and there’s a man in extremely short shorts hugging me. And I have muffins with me. And my legs are ready.
And it is Week 2 of my relationship with Project Awesome.
As demonstrated last week, exercise is not my strong point. I had a sore throat after about thirty seconds last time because I was breathing so hard after a little bit of jogging. That sore throat lasted two days. I had obviously used my left leg to step up more often than my right as it was sensitive as though it had been bruised. I limped and hobbled and winced and complained whenever I had to use my achy left thigh which, by the way, was often. I felt like I’d aged by thirty years and told as much to anyone who’d listen.
Then I thought, what on earth?! I did half an hour of exercise and my body is wrecked?! What’s wrong with me?
I had to go again, if only to see whether Danny’s claims that “it won’t hurt as much on your second week” were true. In traditional Laura fashion, I baked cakes for the occasion. It seemed appropriate.
So that is why I am here. I’m ready to go.
“Who’s new to Project Awesome?” Danny asks. Newbies raise a hand and close their eyes and I, as one of the ‘old timers’ (!) join in running around and high fiving the new members. We do a few hugs around the group and are told the plan.
This week, we’re going to run around the Lord Mayor’s office building once then come down into The Scoop and run up and down the huge steps, up and down, up and down, all the way around til we get to the end then run around the building again, then do the steps again, building, steps, building, steps, etc, etc.
O, and it’s timed this week. Well, never mind! There are worse things than coming last at a workout which will be followed by muffins and where everyone is nice.
Expecting to feel heart-attack-esque, I set off running… and my breathing is not heavy and laboured, I do not get a sore throat, my legs don’t feel too bad.
But next we’re going down into The Scoop so now I’m for it. Legs, get ready, I’m sorry for what is about to happen. And I go up and down the stairs and I do not go very fast but sometimes, instead of taking a few mini steps in between each big step, I just take the big step. And I do not fall over in exhaustion. And when I run, it is not pleasant by any stretch of the imagination, but it is less, a little less, horrible than before.
Of course I am a million miles away from the graceful, toe-first beach run as seen on Baywatch. No matter how much I try to gliiiiiide, instead I plod. I plod like a slow-charging baby elephant approaching a waterhole. My body crashes down with each step and I feel like a little chunky dwarf, huffing and puffing away.
But it is happening. I am running and I am stepping and I hate it less than I did last week. That is improvement, I feel. It is in the right direction, anyway.
As soon as the first people stopped because they had completed the required amount of circuits, I sidled on over and said, all innocent, “O, have we finished now?” Seeing the desperation on my face, they told me that I needed to go round one more time. Just one more. I got a bit sulky and ran off to do one more round.
My goodness, I was pleased when Danny said we were finished. He, of course, could have gone another billion times around, running the whole way, smiling (obviously) and shouting out niceties and encouragements.
I, however, was more than ready for a muffin and to find that place where we had coffee last time. Off we pottered, again wanting the mad-but-lovely feeling, of having achieved something together, to last longer.