My mum emailed me these two old photos of me running as a kid. She is getting stuck into scanning old slides and finding all sorts of interesting old pics.
One thing I immediately noticed in these two pics is that I used to stick my little pinkie out on my right hand when I was running… I never knew I did that! Now I’ll have to stop ribbing our young Alex who has a tendency to have his tongue out in every photo we have of him playing soccer.
As a kid, I grew up with athletics as our family sport. My father had been a fairly good athlete in his youth and had a great interest in the idea of pitting yourself against yourself.
He saw athletics was one of those sports where you don’t have to rely on the team, and yet you could participate as a team. At the end of the day, it was down to you to do your best, and your best was measurable.
Dad’s philosophy was that participation was far more important than whether you won or lost, and so we participated in everything, literally.
We participated in every inter-club athletics competition that was on throughout the season, and we competed in every event on the program. Then in the winter, we competed in cross-country events that were usually held in bitterly cold places like Oberon, Lithgow and Bathurst.
I particularly remember running in events around Oberon Dam. Oberon is over 1000m above sea level, and if you are looking for the coldest place in Oberon, just go down to the dam.
One year I recall I started my run in sunshine, and then we had rain, sleet and very hard hail. We were running through slippery cold mud and eventually finished the run as snow began to fall. And all this whilst wearing a singlet and shorts!
There is a photo somewhere of my sister and I standing around clasping cups of hot tea in an effort to get warm while we waited for the senior men to finish the long run.
(These photos bring back so many related memories I’d completely forgotton about. 1976 doesn’t seem long ago at all!)
Update April 2013
My City2Surf Training Program is now an eBook
‘How to Break Your Fitness Slump and Comfortably Finish a Fun Run’
My full City2Surf training program is now available as an eBook from all leading online bookstores and contains a link to download the training schedule as an iCal file, so you can import it into your calendar.
Also, feel free to join my free Facebook training group the City2Surf 100 day Challenge.