• Wednesday, October 27, 2010
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we are all sitting in the staff room clutching mobile phones in one hand and coffee mugs in the other. usually the room is full of noise and buzz but today we are muted and dull. i think tiredness is setting in, half term is near and we have powerpoint fatigue. i leave the rest of the living dead and head for the gym with my group of lads, caffeine has failed, will endorphins work? today i have my brand new five finger bikila’s, cutting edge minimalist running tech named after abebe bikila. abebe was the first black african to win an olympic gold and he did it in the marathon running barefoot. today there is a different crowd in and the music is softer, more pop. a rap free zone. i briefly wonder where the muthafucka’s are as i get the middle treadmill and am soon joined by a lanky kid with mick jagger lips. in the far corner a sixth former works out on the weights whilst wearing a three piece suit. it’s kinda surreal. the kid running next to me puts zen ken from my club to shame in terms of looseness, this guy runs as if he is boneless and i am jealous as i pound away next to him. he is so loose he could be a puppet, if i cut his strings will he collapse in a tangle of limbs and slid off the end of the treadmill? will his eyes pop out and roll across the floor? i am quickly into the zone myself and am running strong and focused, jagger and i sync and develop a rhythm that eats two miles in a flash. i sense movement on my right and glance over, one of my guys has finished and his place is taken by another kid who can only be the twin of the bloke on my left. this one is just as loose and just as rubber lipped. from behind we must make an interesting study in symmetry, me solid and thumping, in parenthesis with fluid grace. at mile three i begin to feel the burn of a developing blister on the side of my foot. i am disconcerted, the bikila’s are supposed to be seam free preventing blisters. i decide to continue, i am flying and focused and it would be a crime to stop now. i get in another two miles before time is up. as i jump off the ‘mill jagger lips nods and says “good workout” he is right, it was wicked and i feel energised. not so good is my foot, my instep is raw and bleeding. i hope that my credibility as a hard man has been enhanced by the bloodstain soaking through the side of my shoe, i make sure that i am standing in such a way for the whole gym to observe it, it’s ok guys i imagine myself saying, i will slap some duct tape over the blister before my next run, it’s nothing to worry about.

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