I woke up one morning not too long ago and suddenly realized that twenty years had passed since I had finished school. Twenty years! I suppose I had been too busy to notice the time flitting away.
Looking in the mirror though, I could see that twenty years staring right back at me. Wrinkles. Pigmentation – or it that age spots? Thunder thighs aka the 'saddle bags' amply covered with surface veins and dimples associated with cellulite. Maybe I was having a bad morning? I am certain that I didn't look this bad when I went to bed. I suppose time does creep up on you – as do those late night chocolate snacks, wine with cheese and the mojito's.
Now, I am not an overweight person – just an out of shape person. This is something that can be fixed. Right? I have two young children. The last time I did any exercise was before they were born – in fact a few years before they were born. I don't think I have exercised with any determination or effort since 1993 when training for the Peter Evans Memorial Marathon held in Perth, Western Australia. Before that - probably school? OK, so I came second in that marathon (which really isn't a full marathon, possibly half and done in military combat attire) and I normally placed in all of the school track events from 400m to 3,000m. And, yes I was the cross-country champion five years in a row. So what happened?
Life! Is it my fault that I drank a lot of beer when I was in the military? Can I be blamed for all the cheese and wine that I consumed when living in Paris? Or the hummus and bread when in the Middle East? I went out dancing a lot in Singapore, but of course it takes ten to fifteen stiff drinks to get me on the dance floor! I love my Sunday morning brunches, Friday night dinner and drinks, and who could blame me for opening a box of Boursin (au poivre) for a snack whilst watching a show on the idiot box? Exercise? Nope, too exhausted after a day of juggling work, the house, the kids, the husband and whatever else happened to pass my way that day.
So here I am. Twenty years on from my glory days and thinking that with a bit of hard work and sweat I just might be able to get some of it back. Inching back from that edge of middle age I choose to swap my gardening gloves, grey hair and aching bones for a pair of running shoes with the aim of completing the 2010 New York Marathon in a time of 3 hours 30 minutes or better.
So it begins – the run for New York!