My sister R. maintains here that she has sucked at every sport she has ever tried.
It was disconcerting for me to read that. I always think of her as reasonably athletic, and wonder where that leaves me in the scheme of things. I never sucked at hockey because I never tried, but I sucked majorly at roller-blading, and regularly hurt myself at a running speed considerably slower and designed to cover less distance than R. manages.
I run early in the mornings because I have dogs, and because I am a fidgety and have trouble sitting down or thinking things through if I don’t take off some of the edge first thing in the morning. I run to think (and to listen to the news, during election years) without the Owl giving me commentary designed to distract and annoy in the background. In summer I run with bare feet because my friend R. and I read Christopher McDougall’s ‘Born to run’ and immediately fancied ourselves as incipient Tarahumara runners with less stamina, less alcohol and less propensity to indulge in orgies with our neighbours. In winter I run in vibrams, a t-shirt and mittens, because my thermostat works roughly like those in old Japanese petrol motors. Emmy and Loki tangle me up in their leashes so often that I have a permanent chain-mark on Emmy’s leg, and rope-burn on Loki’s.
My favourite runs are the runs around full moon between summer solstice and autumn equinox. Everything is monochrome, and we can go further through the stripy silver bush and up the hill behind the creek, dry this season, where wide swathes of grass have been cut, and a trail with stubble that is hard on unshod feet snakes across the hillside. It is the end of May, and this morning we followed the full moon up Herding Yard Creek with our paws all uncovered. Winter is nowhere near.
Personally, I blame Greg Hunt. He’s got goblin ears.