I feel bloody amazing. Heart beating so I know I am alive. Sweat creeping slowly down my back so I know I am working hard. Dull ache in my legs telling me I am on the move, getting stronger.
I am a champion. I see myself striding out confidently, looking every bit the pro. Nothing can beat me. No one can catch me. I was born to run.
Who is that red-faced plodder coming towards me? She has the same shoes as me. And the same glasses. Huh. Weird. She looks tired, as if her legs are made of lead. She looks hot, and not in a good way. Her face isn’t sparkling with dewy moisture; it’s leaking salt. Her skin isn’t glowing with the effort of exercise; it’s burning red with the stress of sport.
She is amateur. Unfit. The Sunday driver of the jogging world.
And she is laughing. Laughing at the sight of me running towards her. She is grinning at the image, the reality headed her way.
And I am laughing too. I am laughing because I am delighting in the knowledge that I can turn away from this picture and carry on carefree. That ungainly sight melts from my mind as I turn from the shop window and continue my stilted strides. I still feel amazing. I feel great about being out, great about moving, great about remembering that if you feel good, nothing else matters.