This March, we’ll be walking 150 kilometres. Each. And that’s just the beginning.
In order to understand, um, why, let’s go back a few decades.
Some kids are born with what seems like an innate sense of athleticism.
When they’re five, they approach the track at Little Athletics and just… know what to do.
They jump in the pool or kick a ball or grab a cricket bat or catch a netball, and it seems like they effortlessly know what to do next. They go on to win races and competitions, be selected for all sorts of teams, and collect ribbons and medals that are proudly displayed at home.
Then… well, then there’s us.
When we were in kindergarten, we thought that maybe we might be very good at running. We had legs that sometimes felt like they went very fast, and, as of yet, we had no evidence to the contrary.
And then we got to the starting line of the school’s Cross Country.
Firstly, there were infants in sports bras. And bike shorts.
Their clothing was aerodynamic, and some of them appeared to have visible obliques.
It would… appear… others had been training for this event.
We were wearing blue sports skirts that were at least two sizes too big, loose around the middle and hanging to our knees. Our shoes didn’t have a brand on them, they were just bright white bricks, whereas others were wearing Adidas studs.
But fancy gear does not an athlete make. We were here. And in a children’s book mum had read to us once, it said anything was possible.
When the gun went off, Clare moved one leg in front of the other, but the strangest thing happened. She appeared to remain on the spot. If you’d rounded up her speed, she was moving at zero kilometres per hour.
And then before long, mum’s right hand moved up to her mouth, as she watched Clare’s oversized skirt fall down. She ran the majority of the race with her skirt around her knees, her tiny pale, five-year-old legs on display for everyone to see, running at a pace far slower than the organisers had ever thought possible.
Only a few years later, an adult jumped into the pool at the swimming carnival to rescue Clare, despite the fact that she thought she was doing… fine.
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