A Word

Just a half: The river of pain

by Jacqueline Alexander
First published in the Henley Standard newspaper

I now know where to find my vastus intermedius. I know this because it hurts. I also know where my vastus lateralis, vastus medialis and rectus femoris are because they also hurt. At least, I think they do.

The intermedius is definitely suffering but the rectus femoris may just be an innocent bystander while this unsavoury melee breaks out in my legs.

Having embarked on our second week of training, the last part of my body I expected to be exercising was my brain but this journey is springing up a lot of surprises. One night, I dreamt that I was enjoying a long-distance run. I know it was a dream because I have yet to experience this in real life.

Our trainers at Expert Fitness describe our initial exercises as a warm-up. We refer to them as the gates of hell but it turns out even hell has its lighter moments.

My penchant for skipping has not diminished - never before as an adult have I been encouraged to skip. Had I ever broken into a spontaneous skip in Hart Street, my son would have died of embarrassment and yet my trainer's expression is one of pride as we all practise. Our warm-up is now followed by a 5k run along the Thames. The river has been one of my favourite places since moving to Henley 10 years ago. It is now in danger of being forever associated with pain. The next seven weeks will determine if a good trainer and a severe investment on my part can transform this into an association with achievement, perseverance and the currently elusive feelgood factor.

Sue has returned to the fold with a renewed determination. Her complaints of aches and pains, uphill struggles and sheer exhaustion are eclipsed only by the steely look in her eye when she declares that she is not giving up.

Sam has returned from her holiday and will be gracing us with her presence this weekend so the three running mates will be reunited. Tous pour un, un pour tous.

Next: Training has helped me fall in love

Copyright: Jacqueline Alexander 2012

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