Aunt Patty’s Question

In a land far, far away (OK, America) there lives a wise old woman who goes by many names. To some she is a mother, to others a sister, a wife or a grandmother.

To us she is Aunt Patty.

She’s not actually our aunt. I’m not even related to her. But in my mind the definition of family is pretty elastic. I’ve often been in situations where I’m explaining to a stranger that so-and-so is my wife’s brother’s wife’s sister’s husband. In my day to day life those links on the chain are completely artificial.

So if you’re a runner, Aunt Patty is the sort of lady of is likely to tell you to suck it up when the whinging and moaning comes to the surface. Her attitude, a thing missing from the youth of today, is that if it was easy then everyone would do it. Of course things are hard, that’s what makes them worth doing.

In her annual end-of-year card and photograph Aunt Patty signed off by asking me a question most runners generally ignore:

Richard, what are you running from?

My first reaction was to dismiss the question as something only a non-runner would ask.

Then, I thought more about it (a rare thing) and realised that it wasn’t just the what it was also the why, the how and when.

I hope to give some insight into those questions from my perspective in the next few posts.

Whether I tell you the actual story of how I lace up my shoes and when I run or whether I drift off into some of my more colourful metaphors I haven’t yet decided. I mean running is fairly boring to non-runners so the idea of telling you about the mechanics of it send me to sleep!

Hopefully there’ll be some sort of insight in the posts so others can understand what seems from the outside to be completely daft.

And I’ll be able to answer Aunt Patty’s question.


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