Staying positive

I don’t want to talk about the spending review, the extra years I will be working without any indication that the government will be simultaneously addressing the equal pay gap and flexible working hours for both parents, or the worry about my aging mother, my sister and her family…

No I said I don’t want to talk about it. I’ll just worry instead. So a positive blog post or otherwise we’ll go mad.

I wanted to share something beautiful.

I went for a run on Sunday morning in Wollaton Park, here in Nottingham. I really like Wollaton but I can’t afford to live there so I just run there instead. It was a lovely autumn morning, blue sky, crisp chilly air, the leaves turning brown and red and yellow coating the paths, a frost that made the grass twinkle and glitter in the hazy yet bright sunshine. Sitting alone in the middle of the field I run through first on my route was a huge stag deer.

As I ran past, not too close, he lifted his head and – well, roared, is the only way I can describe it. Perhaps brayed? I’m not sure of the correct term. It’s rutting season and this was clearly a warning or a show of his power, I’m not sure.

Unsurprisingly I don’t carry a camera while I run – the only reason not to is that I’d have to wear a bumbag. So my mental picture of this is all I have. By the time I got back to that area of the park again, he’d gone and in his place were many dog walkers.

I never liked exercise or PE at school. If you told me at 15 I’d actively enjoy going out early on a Sunday to run for 40 minutes I wouldn’t have believed you, and neither would my PE teachers. For all the nonsense being spouted about the lack of competitive sport in school adversely affecting our obesity levels, the stark truth is that many people stop exercising as soon as they can because sport at school is a needless exercise in ritual humiliation.

You have to be brave to go to a gym and get serious about being fit. You have to banish the memories of your screaming harridan of a PE teacher and you have to get up early and put the time and effort in on a dark rainy evening and cold autumnal mornings. But, aside from the physical health gains and that lift you get when you realise you’ve reached “the zone” and you can run for ever, once in a while you also get a glimpse of a very different world.

I’ll be fashioning some kind of camera case for my running gear in the next few days, just in case.

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