‘These [trainers] were made for walking…’

So after the umpteenth phone call from Cancer Research UK asking for a long term donation, a thought suddenly hit me.

“Why don’t I run for charity instead?”

Where in the world did that idea come from?! Get back, get back, I say! Seriously, me? Run? Are you having a bubble?

I’ve had my share of humiliating experiences. A particularly memorable one was in primary school when I passed out whilst on my second lap around the playground.

Then there was the time when I suddenly decided to ‘take one for the team’ at a sports day and ran the 1500m to gain extra points. I trailed behind, way behind, in front of what I’d say thousands.

I only run in the mornings for the bus. Period. I can’t run for 5 minutes without gasping desperately for oxygen.

Look at my bad boy, old school trainers in the picture. I’ve actually had them since high school. Notice my patchwork design. My trainers are a work of art, and as such, should only be observed, not used.

Don’t get me wrong, I love taking part in sports. And the charity is close to my heart, especially since cancer has affected a number of people in my life.

But the idea of running sends shivers down my spine.

Nevertheless, I found myself standing in front of a help desk for a gym induction.

I needed some practice first before I pounded those pavements for the whole world to see my wheezing self.

I really was way out of comfort zone, especially since I was dressed in my high top converses, skinny jeans, and massive headphones because I had no time to change.

That meant I couldn’t try some of the machines for the induction. School boy error.

At the induction, the instructor asked me if I’ve used the gym before.

“Just the once,” I replied.

“Really, just the once?” she said jokingly.

“Yes,” I said in a very serious tone.

…She moved on swiftly to show me all the machines.

I use a certain tactic when someone tries to give me certain directions or instructions. I nod enthusiastically and smile without actually taking anything in. This tactic was well deployed in this instance.

It was the typical gym scene I imagined in my head with men prancing around like peacocks in one of those wildlife courting ritual documentaries.

“Look at me, look at MEEEE,” they seemed to say.

Once I figured out how to use the machine, I eventually found my pace. And as the stale air entered my lungs, I thought, “This is kind of easy. I may just enjoy running.”

After completing 2.5k I thought maybe 5k was too small a target for July.

I was on top of the world and had the eye of the tiger- dun, dun, dun dunnnnnnnnn.

I was so proud of myself that I had to tell my dad as soon as he came home from work with a proud, stupid grin on my face.

“You’re going to hurt tomorrow”, he replied. “What possessed you to cover that distance?”

“I don’t know, I just punched in the numbers on the machine, aren’t you proud?”

“Machine?! Hmpf,” he snorted mockingly.

He has a point. I still have a long way to go.

Please do donate if you can. My birthday is around that time too. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. Ha!

You can donate online at: http://www.raceforlifesponsorme.org/moniquesimpson2011

Thanks 🙂


  1. “Whilst it is very easy to treadmill in a gym, it will not be the same experience be difficult on the road! The machine assists your steps, where as you have to physically push yourself forward. This, is where the real rubber meets the road, but enjoy the experience”

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