Free running: it’s not what I thought

Unknown-1When I encounter obstacles during my runs, I run around them.

But after reading Paul Mason’s little book about Free Running (On the Radar: Sports) I’m starting to think: ‘I really shóuld do a salto!’

Free running: what’s that?!

I was seduced by the book’s title: Free Running (On the Radar: Sports). It made me think of nature and freedom! But as it turns out, free running is more about acrobatics than it is about smelling the roses.

Free running is about not letting obstacles get in your way, but using them to do scary stunts. Are you running into a wall? Then réálly run into it, and flip yourself over at the top of the wall. That my friend, is free running.

It sounds better than it is, if you ask me.

Free runners: critics

Lots of runners get hurt during running. And that number must be even higher when it comes to free runners! So even though I can appreciate the idea of not letting yourself be stopped by any obstacle, I don’t really gét free running.

And I’m not the only one. Critics say:

  • Free running is dangerous and can lead to injuries.
  • Free runners may scare pedestrians! Imagine yourself shopping and looking for a nice little black dress when suddenly someone jumps over you!
  • Free running is antisocial behaviour disguised as sports.

Summing up

I’m nót going to try free running at home. I like to stay in once piece, thank you. Besides, with five kids my life has enough excitement in it. I don’t need anymore.

I’ll just continue on running in freedom my way.

How do you feel about free running?

Mum on the run

When I first stumbled upon Fiona Gibson’s book mum on the run, I felt kind of indignant thinking: ‘Why didn’t I know about this?! I mean, it’s a mommylit book, ánd it’s about running!’

Feeling quite impatient to get my eyes on the story, I bought the eBook version and transfered it to my Kobo ereader.
‘Mummy’s busy children!’ I shouted in an effort to get some time to read without interruptions. But it turns out mum on the run isn’t all that great.

Standard momlit, with some running thrown in

It really ís momlit, featuring all the wellknown ingredients: big mommy pants, greying bras, a messy house, a mom struggling with her kids and her weight, and a marriage that is suffering from the day to day life of living with kids but in the end is strong enough to survive. Mum on the run is like a Big Mac: it’s fast, it’s easy and you know exactly what you’re gonna get. But that also makes it kind of boring and wanting to get the t-shirt saying: ‘Read this, got the t-shirt.’

What kept me reading on was the running part. Slightly overweight Laura takes up running as a means to get thinner and do something for herself. I love reading about people who run, and I doing so about Laura’s feelings while she ran.

To illustrate, here’s a little quotation from when Laura confronts the other woman.’

‘As I leave town, I realise how strong my legs feel now; running seems almost natural, in the way that I’m no longer conscious of my feet hitting the pavement. I’ve town behind me now, hardly noticing the neat red-brick terraces petering out into rolling hills and the leafy lane which leads to the mill. (…)

‘Hi Laura,’ she greets me with a small smile at the door to her flat. ‘Wow,’ she adds, her gaze skimming my tracksuit. ‘You haven’t run all this way, have you?’
‘Yes. It’s not that far, is it?’
‘It’s four miles!’ she exclaimes.
‘Is it? Well, I enjoyed it, actually.’

To sum up

I felt the Laura character to be extremely stereotypical, and not really all that ‘laugh of loud funny’, and the story was very superficial too. I loved the running bits, but they were too few and far between for my liking.

What I loved the best about the whole book is Fiona Gibson’s list of ’15 Brilliant Things About Running’. Fiona is a runner and a mother, and her list makes me want to be her friend. I’ll share her best one with you:

‘I feel guilty for saying this. But running is alsoan incredibly handy excuse if you need a little break from the children. Somehow, it’s more acceptable than saying, ‘I’m just going for a little lie down.’

So all in all, it was just about worth my 10 bucks.

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Running in books: After the party

I often find myself reading a book where the main character goes out for a run. I love characters that run, and I’m going to start a special category on this blog for books in which running is mentioned!

If you know any books, please let me know, or email me! the quotation/text that’s about running!

Let’s kick this category off with Lisa Jewell’s novel ‘After the party‘!

‘It was a warm morning. Jem was taking Scarlett to nursery. Ralph was going for a run. Running was an activity that Ralph had always viewed with some suspicion. There were three women who ran past Ralph and Jem’s bedroom window every single morning at 6.45 a.m. exactly. In the winter months this would occur in pitchblackness and be utterly unthinkable to Ralph.

Why, he wondered, would anyone peel themselves from a warm bed, pull on a pair of leggings en pound the streets in the ark? Even during more civilised hours it struck Ralph as a slightly unnatural thing to do. If an alien were to land in Herne Hill, sit himself at a pavement table outside a café and look around himself at humanity, after a while he might think he had worked out what was going on, and the someone in neoprene would run past, pat-pat-pat, ears plugged with white wires, eyes staring blankly adhead and throw the alien completely off course.

But then Spring had happened and the idea of cloisering himself away in the windowless, strip-lit obscurity of the gym has lost its appeal and Ralph had put his prejudices to the back of his mind, his trainers to the pavement, and become a born-again runner.

He loved the feel of his feet against the pavement and the music in his ears. He loved the searing coldness of the air being dragged into his lungs and shot out again. And he especially loved the sense of begin both part of humanity and yet removed from it by sped, by mission.