The alarm clock went off at 6:45am, and a vague memory re-appeared in my head – something about waking up Miss 16, who had promised to go running with Miss 19. My eldest had found me late last night with just the sort of impossible request she’s become famous for:
“What time will I need to go running in the morning, in order to be back in time to have a shower before my driving lesson?”
“7:30am – you’ll be home by 8am – giving you over and hour”
“But I won’t be able to get up”
“Yes you will”
“No I won’t”
So I get up at 7am, after my other half reminds me that they are supposed to be going running. I pull on my own running shorts, and wander across the landing, rubbing sleep from my eyes – coming to a halt outside Miss 16’s door.
“Time to get up – you’re going for a run aren’t you?”
(faintly heard grumbling)
“I don’t want to go.”
I wander downstairs, thinking “here we go”, and look in on my eldest daughter. The bedroom light is on, and the door is cracked open. I knock, poke my head in, and discover her curled up on the bed.
“Are you getting ready to go for a run then?”
She’s holding her phone.
“She doesn’t want to go – I was only going because she wanted to.”
“Do you want to go for a run with me instead?”
“I was only going because she wanted to.”
Great. So I’m up, wearing running shorts and a shirt to encourage my daughters in THEIR plan to go for a run, and I end up being the only one leaving the house.
This whole ridiculous story isn’t really about them though. It’s about what happened next. I switched Strava on, tucked my phone in my pocket, and started gently jogging away from the house. After a few street corners I met a busier road, and another runner crossing in from of me. I vaguely recognised him as a ridiculously competitive Dad from when the kids were at infant school who kind of ruined the parents sports-day races for everyone.
As he jogged past, he saw me approaching (or rather slowing – I let him go first), and had to suppress laughter. It was like a scene from a pathetic version of Rocky – where he sped up to look good as he passed. While jogging along behind him, he then glanced over his shoulder at me, and started sprinting. I learned it’s difficult to carry on jogging when you’re laughing. I thought about following the same route as him to see how long he could keep it up, but then got caught in a mixture of feeling sorry for him, and not giving a shit about him.
I turned away from his route, and carried on my way – out towards town, and a quiet few kilometres lost in my own thoughts.
Work starts in a little while. I’m home, showered, dishwasher re-loaded, spotify playing, and the work day is stretched out ahead of me. I keep thinking about him though, and grinning. I want to call him “Barry Allen” in my head (The Flash), but that seems a bit mean.