Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I have a friend who considers the fact that human legs are capable of moving faster than a leisurely stroll, a complete and utter travesty.
That one would make use of these ill-advised biomechanics marks you firmly as a misguided fool.
I, however, have always loved to run. Without it I think I would be medicated for anxiety. It’s very cathartic for me, like a cigarette is to my husband – a hit of calmness for my needy soul, a drag of introspection, a moment of self.
Auditioning in New York…lonely in London…isolated in the Northern Territory…
Running allows processing time, a legitimate and socially acceptable way to deal with my daily struggles.
Conversely, landing a gig in theatre, getting engaged, being paid for my first writing piece, these are the victory runs. My step as light as a Springbok’s, my pumping arms filled with the thrill of success.
Today’s run is particularly significant; it is my last one on US soil for quite some time. For after seven and a half years away, I’m returning to my hometown of Sydney, Australia and before a fourteen-hour plane trip, the best thing anyone can do is stretch the jiggles out of you.
I am beating a path around the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, the largest of its kind in the world and a Mecca for the city’s many pavement pounders. They’re a serious bunch here too. Most are decked out in sweat-slicking, microfiber, colour-coded outfits and many run with bum-bags stuffed with water bottles and those gel packets designed to get you through a marathon.
Which brings me to the main focus of this blog…my husband, two of my three brothers and I, have made a commitment to run this year’s Sydney marathon. (One brother has dismissed it as an exercise in stupidity, and won’t even get up to hand out drinks along the way).
Now. While I have been running for most of my life, my husband is a chef. He has every bad habit a runner should abandon. He is perpetually quitting smoking, lives by the motto that there is a meal in every beer, and if liquid fuel is unavailable, can always locate a twenty-four hour diner to satisfy his sodium, fat saturated taste buds.
But alongside the cholesterol likely coursing through his veins, run equal parts stubbornness and determination. Where I will rely on preparation and planning, Gregory will cross that finish line with the same pigheadedness he shows me when I suggest a salad sandwich over his burger and fries.
It should be an interesting few months.
But for now, I run in the rain drenched San Franciscan air, reading with interest the Tsunami evacuation route posted along the road, drinking in the view not dissimilar to Bondi’s and knowing that in approximately twenty-four hours I’ll be doing exactly the same thing on the other side of the Atlantic.

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