….the thing is, I can’t run to save my life. I can barely run to catch the bus and thankfully I have never been chased by a wild beast. The bus catching issue relates to my life outside the Kingdom, and we are all safe here in the Kingdom when it comes to beasts because, well, they have all been eaten. Here in the Kingdom we also don’t have to (or should not have to) run to and/or from anything. For this we have the never-ending line of tuk-tuks forming on every corner backed up by their moto driving friends all keen to take passengers. Despite of this I do see people running. Crazy souls. In the heat, sweating, dripping messes. Some of them run along the river, some on the busy roads taking in lungs full of dust and exhaust fumes, risking their life to end up under the wheels of a Lexus or Hummer driven by evil lunatics on mobile phones. The bravest run during the hours us mere mortals are either sleeping or finishing our last drink as the sky starts to grow pale in the east.
One early the morning I saw a couple of people running the gravel paths of the Royal Gardens. Nothing extraordinary here you may say and actually, what a pleasant place to go for a jog! But, to my amusement these sporty souls were running backwards! Was it to see how far they have already run as one friend explained with a cheeky grin on his face? Maybe! And well done for not falling over, evidently they have their route memorised or maybe they have eyes in the back of their heads.
Some run really fast. Some are barely making their legs move dragging their feet behind (I sympathise with those). Some seem to have a steady pace and I bet they can go forever, effortlessly, without any evident marks of sweat (I hate these the most). The question looming in my head, every time I encounter a runner, is: have they just left their house and are they therefore full of energy and therefore running so fast? Are they at the end of their resources and thus barely surviving? What stage of their run are they at? I always (used to) look like I was dying, absolutely not mastering the art of breathing, not knowing how to carry on through “the wall”, puffing, bulging eyes, stitch hurting like a bitch (it rhymes!), face the colour of a boiling lobster and death on the tip of my tongue which was on the top of my chest. I find very little that is enjoyable in running. But it must have been fun watching me….
There is a funny relationship between me and running. Scarred from early school attempts to tackle the compulsory 1,5km oval within a given time limit and almost always failing I still have periods when I secretly fancy becoming a runner. They grow scarcer and scarcer the older I grow, though... And I find that these feelings overcome me only when I find myself in cooler climates. Here in Cambodia sweat comes naturally so why bother producing more? Still, I would kind of like to belong to the community of runners. Going for run to clear ones head, to exercise, to become fit. That sort of thing. But then I always have something better to do, like spend endless hours online.
I can sprint. No, let me rephrase - in my younger years I COULD sprint. I played basketball and I could make it through a game because it wasn’t just about running around. I dread treadmills. They should be called dreadmills and I could count on the fingers of one hand how many times I have engaged in the funny activity of running on a moving rubber belt, indoors, trying to listen to music or mindlessly watch some nonsense on TV. I am simply not a gym girl, it’s as plain as that.
I am an outdoors girl. I will walk, I will cycle and I will swim and there are almost no limits to how long for or how far. But running and I are not friends. So I hereby invite all of you crazy runners out there to share your secrets with me. What is it that you get out of it? How do you keep going? When does it become fun and not just a survival instinct? What do you think about when you run? Do you run alone or with a friend? Should I wear not one but two sports bras at one time to prevent myself being knocked out by my …ehrm, knockers?
Who knows, one of you might inspire me enough to maybe even buy a new pair of running shoes. The old ones (which were still “like” new) fell apart due to lack of use, crappy glue, suspected fake Adidas badge (despite having been bought in the official Adidas store) and the climate. Or maybe only just because of lack of use.
.....needless to say, I have absolutely no images related to running.....
anna bella betts
Never still, always on the move, looking for the perfect capture... Cambodia is currently my home, presenting endless opportunities....
In this blog you will find no profound wisdom.
Just accounts of daily life, sometimes about photography, often about wine, occasionally about travel adventures and sometimes about nothing at all.