If your personality is such that you can only talk ill of yourself and refrain from speaking positively through fear of appearing arrogant, isn’t that your ego? How is it that when we see extreme symmetry and perfection in other people, outside of ourselves, we give praise without the guilt?
Very few can but one must step outside of self to see a situation as it truly is and if it is such then say it is such, whether or not they are the interested party. They often wonder why I sing my own praises.
On Christmas day after adulterating my pescetarian body with Lamb, I decided that after a six-month break the lower back pain I suffered would not notice me going out for a short run. As I wove through the streets of Notting Hill, Kensington and the on over Wandsworth Bridge I thought ‘More…’ 12 miles later, knees closer to the concrete, I felt pretty accomplished. It felt easy, especially with no training.
After a few days of pain I etched my name down for a half Marathon and started training for the body I almost had. I felt that being a Superhero must start with the idea of a superhero in the mind. Spiderman. Never was there a more perfect physique. Screw The Hulk, Superman, and all the others. The sheer fat-less frame adorned with muscle made him the ultimate powerhouse. Plus he wouldn’t seem stiff dancing at a club or odd in a suit. Yep, that’s me. The turkey waist had to go and then the rest would just fall from the body as if they were tied together, I thought. Sit-ups were really all I knew for belly jelly so I went in. 31, 32, 40…..yeah baybeee get money.
It wasn’t too long before I felt my arch enemy creeping back in. ‘Creeping Back, I thought you were dead’. ‘Oh no, I was just waiting here by your waist for you to stretch just a little too far.’ For the next few days I took it easy on the back and started a safe abs routine so not to offer him that chance he was waiting for.
One morning as I stretched to put on my shoe, something squeezed my poor nerve and threw me flat on my stomach. It was creeping up on me again. The pain was crippling. I couldn’t move and felt thankful that I had a phone in my pocket. I called my Sister who rushed over, saw my condition and immediately called for an ambulance. After talking to one positive paramedic I was assured that I would most probably walk again. Men are such fearful creatures, hypochondriacs. This was my second visit to the hospital in two days. The first visit was for a swollen foot and that time it was the doctor that relieved my suspicions of a broken toe.
Skipping was a full workout far from back’s neighbourhood and it seemed the way to go although I could feel pain in my calf on each skip. After an hour all of a sudden my calf felt as though it had been spiked by a bulls horn. I thought ‘Okay now your fur king with me…’ Fur King Witmi was an old enemy of every about to be Super hero and even from ancient times was known to pop up at the most untimely moments. His powers allow him to change form but he only disappears if your mind is stronger than he. As a Taurean I was born the king of the Will so the stabbing pain I just wrote off as fatigue. I’m doing this Marathon. I trained again the next day and Got daymn! The whole leg swelled up. Fur king was back. He knew that it was one week before the half Marathon and if he could keep me down, stop me from training for just one more week he’d possibly break my will for good.
I suddenly realized Creeping Back and Fur king Witme were working together. Dun, dun, dunnnn. Yes, ever since I signed up for the run, for three whole months they have been after me. How did they know? Had they hacked my computer or was Creeping Back really Fur King Witme all of the time?
Okay what do we have? The Paramedic said run, the Doctor said do not aggravate the foot further, my physio said “You’ll be fine just do a short run then increase in the weeks leading up.” I hadn’t run at all, all I did was try to keep Creeping Back at bay only to be caught by Fur King. Well at least Creeping Back seems to be gone.
While resting the swollen leg, at 11:00pm I decided to call NHS direct just to rule out any possible vein coronary connection. I failed their twenty odd questions and was inconveniently advised to go to A and E. After waiting almost 3 hours with almost solely vailed women, I was finally seen. Doctor: ‘I have no idea why they sent you here as this is almost 100% not deep vein thrombosis as you’re a walking, moving athlete and haven’t been immobilised, it’s a torn ligament”.
Well that’s a four-hours-out-of-my-life kinda relief.
Walking home at 3am in the morning I suddenly became aware that without NASA, there are still those in your neighbourhood that have established their own lunar mission to search for off the shelf medication. Astronauts, I call them. Just one small step for man and we’ll leave it at that…
I hadn’t trained for days my leg stopped swelling on the Friday and the race was on Sunday. Creeping Back was nowhere in sight but I felt that Fur King Witme was still close by and likely to spring an attack as there was still some pain and a bruise on my calf. On Saturday night I decided I’d watch the movie limitless for inspiration then get nine hours rest for Tomorrows big run but I had emails. I would address them for an hour, watch the movie and then sleep.
Fur King saw a chance to attack me by changing form and seized it. He turned into frustrating, confusing and aggravating thoughts in my brain, conversations, issues and images from the day ran around in my head causing me to panic about not getting enough sleep and how selfish and self-centred people could be and how people can appear real and be so not, my own self confidence and every negative aspect of my life, sacrifices, old meaningless relationships became more than they deserved and anything that would keep this active mind from switching off.
At 5:30, defeated, I decided all I could do was a few stretches as the only aid for my failing hope of tomorrow’s victory. Fur King left knowing she had used the most unexpected subtle form of attack to stop my progress, my confidence, my direction and ultimately break my will. 6:00am, I’m finally nodding off knowing that the alarm will sound at exactly 6:30.
I dragged my tired butt to the race at Allianz Park Stadium and remarkably, fresh out of the blues, I receive a text from my dear friend Martin ‘Hey! I watched Limitless last night, brilliant’. What freaking excellent timing and inspiration, this is the timing of God, ya hear? These are the ones who, at that moment, are on the highest, highest vibration, the messengers for those golden moments of divine love from the universe, as I told him about the movie weeks ago and he knew nothing about the race and NEVER, EVER, EVER, contacts me on a Sunday morning before 11:00, never. Even in its holiness I see it as a moment, the moment.
There were 6,000 people around me, I needed to 16th letter of the alphabet desperately. It was 9:20, the race started at 9:30, the wee line was 10 people to a porta loo. Is that the car park? Alrighty then. I ambitiously got back in the timing pen . After giving my phone and jacket to Tony, a Superfriend and ally, we were off. I pointed at Mo Farah with confidence. He looked back puzzled like ‘Is he from my endz?’ Of course I wasn’t, why I’m from ‘Best’ London but his strong acknowledgment was the energy I needed to forget I was running on e.
There were at least seven unexpected inclines on the course and the return path coming out of Wembley stadium felt like climbing a mountain but I continued. With no sign of Creeping Back, Fur King tried to enter my mind again with thoughts like ‘Ha it’s all uphill son ‘ and ‘who didn’t sleep last night, remember when you collapsed at school games for less than that, woke up in hospital didn’t you’? My gait was soft and dreamy, as much as I had nothing left in me, I did not collapse and yes I finished. No, it wasn’t my best time but it was a win for me. Tony greeted me with my coat, some water and food as I crossed the line. Myself and Magdelana, an extremely fit athlete that I met at the 11th mile, congratulated each other and bid each other farewell until the next run in a few months.
The medal was worn on the train, in my bed and around the streets that week. Did you say why? Well after defeating Creeping Back and Fur King Witme, beating those two injuries and competing with just 30 minutes sleep…Yes, I may be wrong but I think that Angel Lewis is every bit Supermanathon.