I wasn’t that competitive at school. Honestly – there were a few things I was good at (swimming, eating Double Deckers, writing tragic love letters I’d never send), but I was never known for being “sporty”.
I joke that I go for a run approximately every four years – and it’s true. I recently logged on to Strava (more on that, later) to discover my last proper ‘run’ was in June 2015. The lycra I wore has been in the cellar ever since. Until now.
Currently I’m hauling myself back to the local park, three times a week, doing a slow but methodical 5k each time (yes, each one logged on Strava). And there’s just one reason: sports day.
Specifically, the Mums’ Race, at sports day. I’m going to win that thing if it kills me – and as of right-the-hell-now, I’m in training.
Two years ago, you see, a fluke happened. I hadn’t been to a school sports day before, other than the ones I reluctantly took part in as a teenager (read: sit on the sidelines, gazing at the person I had a crush on) and I didn’t even know there was a race for mums and dads.
I also didn’t realise how seriously people would take it... or what would come over me when I took part. And I certainly, unequivocally, hadn’t thought for a minute that I would ACTUALLY WIN.
But win, I did – and now I’ve got a reputation to maintain. Last year I came second, but I blame the cheats who went before the starter gun (it wasn’t really a gun, just the headteacher shouting “Ready... steady... go!”).
And that’s why, this year, I’m determined to go down in the history books as the revered two-time winner of the Mums’ Race.
I can already imagine the slow motion footage, the victory music, the cheering crowds... (of seven-year-olds).
So, I’m off down the cellar again – but not to find lycra, this time. Nope – my old running spikes are in there somewhere. I’m going to find them, and I’m not afraid to use them. Fellow mums, watch out.
I WILL TAKE YOU DOWN.