Bon Courage!

Three Surfer Dudes
Three Surfer Dudes

I’ve spent the last ten days in France with my family soaking up the rays (man).

I’m now fat, tanned and unfit rather than just fat and unfit. I imagine that I may now look as if I can afford my physiotherapy bills. We had a wonderful time of course and I did my very best to reconnect with my inner beach-bum – which wasn’t all that difficult as I strive to keep him close to hand at all times.

It was really hot outside on most days – just the sort of weather in which I usually love to run. Leaving my inner beach-bum completely out of it, my inner head-case rejoices in running in completely unsuitable conditions. It’s at least partially the, ‘You’re not going out in that? Are you?’ look on my wife’s face, that makes me want to run in 35 degrees. As well as that (obviously) important consideration, when you can only afford to run for 35 -45 minutes, you want to get full-value for them, don’t you?

Things are improving for me slowly, but I’m still not in a situation where I can throw caution to the wind and thrash myself to a sweat-soaked, gasping red pulp in the blazing French sunshine. I had to restrict myself to

three short runs spread out over the ten days – each of which I thoroughly enjoyed.

With each passing week I can feel a little more confidence returning to my stride. I’m sticking with core-work stretching and physiotherapy and although progress is slow, it’s there, and that’ll do me for the moment. At least I’m off the blasted trampoline.

On one of my runs last week in France I jogged along a cliff path before returning 30 minutes later to the campsite where my family were staying. As I jogged home – with a head like a freshly-boiled smiling tomato – I rounded a bend and passed an immaculately-coiffed elderly French lady as she made elegant progress towards the beach. In a flash of seeming incredulity – mixed with bafflement at why anyone would want to run in 35 degree sunshine – she flashed a diamond smile and offered a gracious ‘Bon Courage!’ as I passed.

Such moments of encouragement (not to mention flattery) may serve to sustain an injured runner for many months to come.

Avancer dans le brouillard!


3 thoughts on “Bon Courage!

  1. And I thought I was super athletic walking around the outside of my house once a day (more like evening) since this crazy weather moved to Ireland. Your inner voice must have been sizzling 🙂 But it’s great to hear the progress continues and the trampoline has been ditched.

  2. I was going to leave it as a post on my blog but I’ll tell the story here: While puffing up the steep dirt track about 2 weeks ago outside the village in Italy where we stay I was feeling all smug about my achievements. 7 in the morning, fairly wine free and dripping in sweat and chanting “constant forward progress”. It was the sort of track where mountain bikers lock up their rear wheel on the descent. Proper hard stuff. 2 miles done, 7 to go and out of nowhere, in the middle of the wilderness a man in his 70’s in a string vest with a small yappy dog walks towards me, gives me a bemused look and says “Bon Giorno”.

    It’s all about perspective.

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