Posts Tagged ‘Family’

When I were a lad…

…I lived in Devon. So no one (other than Monty Python)  used such Yorkshire-like phrases. And if I did then I probably would have been corrected to say ‘was’ instead. That’s not really important to this story – the point is, when I was younger, I can remember, one snowy winter, standing on the actually quite excellent climbing frame (built by my dad after he found he was unable to remove one of the supporting posts of an old wooden garage that used to be in the garden and he built a climbing frame around it instead, until when I was like, 20 or something, that original support eventually rotted away enough to be removed along with the rest of this makeshift but brilliant climbing apparatus – that’s not important to this story though) ….so I was standing on this climbing frame in my full winter gear – padded coat, gloves, balaclava, the works, when my brother throws a snowball at me…

I don’t want to give my brother the credit for what happened next because he missed…or, as I like to remember it, I expertly and deftly evaded the missile…

…unfortunately I then lost my footing, fell off the climbing frame and can then remember a very sick and claustrophobic feeling that I was in pain but couldn’t remove the million layers of knitted garments of industrial (grandma-strength) yarn.

My loving mother (no sarcasm intended…She was and still is…) performed the obligatory parental skills of rubbing my arm, moving it up and down, making sure I could make a fist, etc , and advising that perhaps the snowball fight should take a rain check. I can remember my arm being moved backwards and forwards, accompanied by the words, “I’m sure it does hurt, but you wouldn’t be able to do this if it were broken”.

Of course, it turned out that it was indeed broken. I wasn’t able to sleep that night, mum realised that maybe something was in fact the matter, and we ended up going to hospital where it was confirmed.

 

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Fast forward approximately 30 years… it’s a Wednesday, and I arrive at my son’s after-school football club to take him home. They are just finishing up. It’s penalties. They always have a penalty each at the end of the session.

Son is in goal.

He saves a penalty and appears to land awkwardly.

But he walks up to now take his own penalty. He misses.

He returns to be goalkeeper …and lets the next penalty in. Game over.

Only at this point does he appear now to express any hand pain.

Now call me cynical  *pause… to allow time for you to call me cynical* but I wasn’t convinced, and told him to stop making a fuss. He shouts at me for never believing him (all previously  ‘life-threatening’ injuries sustained by son to this point have turned out to be no more than scratches and bruises) and when we get home, I am internally eye-rolling but in the real world I’m going through a VERY thorough hand examination, checking for scaphoid fracture – negative, checking for peripheral nerve damage – negative, putting hand and wrist through full range of movement. He reports some pain but isn’t jumping through the roof. I basically performed a slightly more elaborate equivalent of rubbing his arm, moved it backwards and forwards and telling him, “You wouldn’t be able to do that if it were broken!”. To show him I was a loving and caring father, however, I did apply an ice pack (frozen peas) and a wrist wrap bandage thing for the evening.

The next day, he goes to school and plays in a football match afterwards (they lost 4- 1 incidentally… though that’s not important to this story).

The day after that, due to ridiculous roadwork near us, I decide he will cycle to school while I cycle our younger child (using a tag-along bike) to her school. Son returns home 5 minutes after leaving, saying his wrist hurts and could I drive him? No I could not. He needs to stop being a whinge-bucket and if he’d just kept going he’d have been over half way there by now… and anyway, his sister was all kitted up and excited about cycling to school… and we didn’t have time now… and traffic would be dreadful and if he wasn’t going to cycle then he’d better start walking now or he would be really late!

He cycled to school.

And he cycled home.

But when he didn’t want to play tennis on Saturday morning, I thought something was up. I looked at his arm again.

Now his arm did look a little bit bent…mmm…not sure… swelling? … worse?

To cut this story slightly shorter, we basically spent the day in various hospitals where, after x-rays and a 3.5 hour wait, the upshot was basically “We don’t know for sure if it’s broken either. We think it still might be a greenstick fracture so here’s a brace (removable velcro-strapped splint) to wear for 3 weeks. During that time no swimming… no P.E at school… no football… come back and see us in 3 weeks“.

To cover my own parenting inadequacies, I have been recounting the story of ‘The Boy Who Cried, “WOLF!”‘ to my son.

He thinks it’s a rubbish story.

I shall be collecting my ‘Father of The Year’ award next month.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. they didn’t actually say “no running” so I have used his non-participation in school sports to persuade him out with me on three separate occasions for just a ten minute run.*

 

*and thus this blog fulfils its very loosely running-based brief.

 

 

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I nearly ran a 5k last weekend with my son in a park near our old home.

It was part of the Decathlon running series. A free event put on by the sports store. If you have  a Decathlon near you, it is worth checking out. It’s not chip-timed or anything, but it was friendly and well organised and a very pleasant morning. It wasn’t quite 5k, hence the ‘nearly’ but more of that in a bit.

I might be NotMuchOfaRunner, but my son is even less of one, so when he agreed to do this one with me a few months back (swayed by the free t-shirt and goodie bag ‘worth £10’), I signed us both up straight away (there was persuading my wife or daughter though). He has been out on his bike a few times accompanying me on a run, but hasn’t run himself since May when he managed just under 30 mins for his school’s 5k.

Here’s a couple of photos of him doing his stuff during the race. None of me… but just imagine a slightly taller version with less hair and generally more tired-looking if you want an idea.

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He’s a funny one, my boy. I made sure he knew that it was fine to walk… that we weren’t going for a time… that it was a hilly course…etc. Basically  no pressure. But he wanted to get sub 30 and really beat himself up when he struggled to run up the hills or had to slow to walking pace. Thankfully, the end came in sight before I’d expected it and all of a sudden, his energy had returned as he pulled off a strong final straight into the finish.

Knowing the park quite well, I took him to an outdoor tap at the edge of the field and he soaked his head for five minutes afterwards to cool down. He was fine after that and didn’t again mention what a ‘terrible run’ it was (his unhelpful mantra for the last 2 kms).

It wasn’t just me who was surprised by the early finish. Here are a few of the titles from other people’s Strava runs that I saw later on.

“Shipley Park 5k (only 4.65k so I ran to end of field and back)”

“Decathlon 5k (that wasn’t quite 5k!!) Run with Jane”

“Decathlon nearly 5k”

“Decathlon short 5k series”

And my own, “Decathlon running series (?)5k(?)”

 

Ha ha. So don’t target this race if you are going for a legitimate PB… but for  our purposes of a ‘fun run’ it was very welcome! Don’t tell my son it was short, though!

We thanked the officials and headed off to the Decathlon store to collect our goodie bags…

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…Mmmmm…. NEARLY £10 maybe….Stretching it perhaps? Here it is…

Energy drink – £1.50
Bottle of water – £1

Energy bar – £1

(These are educated guesses, by the way)

Decathlon lanyard thing – £0.50 (not that I think I’d buy one for 50p but it makes the maths simple)

Fabric P.E bag advertising decathlon – £3 (pushing it)

Which means that sticker that says ‘run power’ is worth £3 ! Apparently. Who knew?!

Haha! I don’t mind really because…

1)It was a well organised event (though I did get an email a short while back telling me I’d been signed up for the Bolton event! …someone must have clicked ‘send to all’ by mistake).

2)It was free.

3)It was a lovely morning.

4)I was with my son.

5)It felt very inclusive.

6)We got a decent T-shirt each upon sign up (yes that bright yellow one!) but I won’t be able to wear it on a trip to my local Decathlon store for fear of being stopped to ask where the goggles/archery equipment/football shirts/bike locks/etc are…

Maybe that makes up the value of the goodie bag 😉

No matter. The run was worth it (for me) even without a goodie bag because I was with my boy.

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I hope he forgets that he doesn’t like running very much quite soon, because I’d like to go out again.

The ups and downs

Posted: February 27, 2016 in running
Tags: , , , ,

Sorry. Not Sorry…

…I took a whole load of other beach pics while on holiday in Norfolk last week which I shall now bore you with briefly and then I would like to tell you about Child 1’s dramatic tennis tournament victory and Child 2’s first junior parkrun.

But first those pics…

   
   
Hey, it isn’t just all sunrises, you know! Oh no, no, not at all… there were sunsets too… 

  
  

…but, mostly, to be honest, it was indeed frosty, sandy beaches and sunrises/nuclear explosions in the distance while I ran serenely by (after setting the camera on timer and sprinting away like Billy-o first)

    

 

Moving on from the beach… I said I’d like to tell you about my son’s tennis victories… well I would like to…but I can’t… because unforunately he lost three of his four games and was a bit disappointed in himself, bless him. To be honest, he wasn’t playing his best at all so the results were fair, but I’ll tell you what else, he lost far better than I have seen him lose before. Even when he lost agsinst a lad half his size (after being a set to the good up and having three match points in the second) he shook the lad’s hand and gave him an Andy Murray style bloke-hug as they walked off court. He saved the tears for us later.

Child 2 was all up for completing a junior parkrun while we were away so, having been organised for once in my life and having registered and pre-printed her barcode before we left home, we headed to Norwich.

She was excited.
Too excited.
Is it possible for a five year old to be too excited?
Yes it is.
She was too excited.

By the time the 2km junior parkrun started, she and her brother had probably run that distance already, chasing each other around the courtyard! Child 1 for some reason did not want to run the parkrun, though (probably because he was tired out!) so became 50% of the family cheering squad.

We ran. We walked. We ran. We talked. We saw a volunteer and sprinted. We stopped. We walked. We saw mummy. We ran. We walked… you get the idea… and we finished! Yay!

And she is instantly a ‘proper runner’ too because when mummy asked her if she wanted to do another, she replied, “Never again!” :-/ …but we all know what that means, don’t we, folks?

  
In other news…

My parents currently live in Devon, but not for long. They have been trying for a while to sell up, downsize, and move to be a little closer to me (Nottinghamish), my brother (Cambridgeish), and our families. They’ve recently had an offer and all parties want it to happen within a month!

I love visiting Devon and the house is the one I literally grew up in. I’m not sure that I’m ‘grown up’, however but nonetheless I have very fond memories of my childhood there and I will be sad to leave it now (even though I left it really when I went to University). Any sadness is outweighed by the fact that we will see far more of my parents, who will be less than two hours drive away rather than over four hours currently.

I have come to help mum and dad sort stuff out, break stuff up, take stuff to the tip/dump this weekend which has also been good because on the way I’ve been able to visit an old school friend and his newly born child, and it also means I can run the killer – Parke parkrun (which will clearly be very muddy and I’ll never make it up that steep first hill if I don’t right away buy some decent new trail shoes immediately, right guys?!*).

It’s also good to be here with my folks because my dad’s mother, a thoroughly independant, self-sufficient 90+ year old, had a stroke a few days ago. It is serious and will be life-changing but she seems to be out of immediate danger. Family are really supportive and are taking it in turns to be a physical presence with her. My Granny is an amazingly strong woman and we’ll have to see how that impacts on her recovery over the coming weeks/months.

So without the excuse of visiting my parents here, this might be my last Devon trip for a while 😦

To make the most of it, I got up early yesterday and went for a 5 mile run up another huge hill (there are lots of those in Devon!) to this forest…

  

So… yeah… it’s all quite up and down at the moment.

I have the literal trail shoes
(* yes, I did need to right away buy some decent new trail shoes immediately )…

Let’s hope I have the metaphorical ones too.

  

P.P.P.P.p.P.P

Posted: June 27, 2015 in Juneathon, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Poor 

Planning

Prevents 

Predicted 

parkrun 

PB 

Performance 

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I was so up for a parkrun this morning. ‘Up’ mentally, and ‘up’ physically… I’ve been getting faster and fitter (just not any lighter… But that’s all part of my cunning training strategy!).

I was actually out of bed and everything!…

…Well… nearly everything. After yesterday’s ‘out of the house all day’ adventure with the kids, we ordered in a pizza that evening. It was lovely.

And then everyone went to sleep. Which was also nice…but it unfortunately meant that this morning, there was all the morning stuff to do plus all of last night’s ‘last night’ stuff to do, there was no milk, hard-working wife still had hard-work to do, the kids were up, tennis coaching and ballet lessons awaited the little people and the in-laws were due round at some point today too.

I should have done it last night. Then I could have been off and out this morning.

Despite having got all dressed up in my running gear, I traded the run in for a proper breakfast, numerous cups of coffee for myself and my good lady wife (I only have one by the way – that term is not used to differentiate between different wives, like I have a ‘bad manly wife’ or anything), and getting both the kids and the house looking moderately presentable… 
…this included eating a cold slice of pizza.

Having taken Child1 to tennis, I met a fellow club member there and we ended up playing a set ourselves so I did at least get some decent exercise in.

As a bonus, Bounts – the website I have reported on before where you can earn points for exercise – redeemable for real world cash gift cards (sign up here for 100 points to get you started), have recently started magically recognising my attendance at my local tennis club and awarding me attendance points too. That would have been extra handy if it had started a month or two back, based on how much I’ve played recently. 

After lunch I took Child2 to ballet, did some food shopping and then I’ve spent the late afternoon cremating meat on the BBQ and drinking cold beer with my wife and her family. 

There are worse ways to spend the last part of the day.

Tomorrow’s breakfast

It arrived at last!

After great anticipation and a build up worthy of a child with their first chocolate advent calendar… Friday 26th June 2015 was international handstand day!

It was also an inset day for the children (for my international readers, joining me today in celebration of international handstand day, an inset day = teacher training – i.e. No children in school/nursery). So I had them both to myself for the whole day.
I am a lucky dad. These are the kind of days I like.

The only request from either child was that we went swimming at some point. My only request was that at some point I should do a handstand to mark international handstand day. My original plan, having checked the swimming timetable, was to leave the house early, cycle to the swimming pool together, swim, then cycle off somewhere for a picnic lunch, before then some mad adventure in the afternoon.

There was, however, plenty of morning faffing top be done; picnics to be made; children to be woken and breakfasted; bikes to be oiled, brakes checked and seats raised (these little people don’t stay little for long, do they?); and handstands to be attempted.

WARNING: below is photographic evidence of me attempting to stand on my hands in the morning in a very lose-fitting dressing gown. I have taken care to obscure my face from the photograph but I am wearing nothing else apart from slippers (which I was kindly bought recently for father’s day – I’ve got some ‘Minions’ ones too, but I’m not wearing them). YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

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Are you sure you still want to do this?

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Ok then…

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I was actually pleasantly surprised that I could still bend down to my toes. Go me!
So, back to our day… The kids and I eventually left the house after much deliberation about the route…

“I don’t like cycling on the roads” 

“it’s dangerous!!”

“I don’t like hills!”

” can’t we just take the car?”

But eventually, the kids persuaded me to stop being such a wuss and just start pedalling.

We had a great time cycling and then swimming, with Child1 managing 50m front crawl at the end of the session to ‘earn’ (they were going to get one anyway) him and his sister a treat from the machines in the foyer after the swim. She isn’t yet swimming independently but happy to be in and around water.

Next, a short cycle to the park for picnic (now about 1:30pm) as despite machine treats, we’re a bit peckish.

Deliberately ‘forgetting’ to bring a football was a good plan as both children played really nicely together and we all attempted another international handstand day handstand…
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A basic understanding of the laws of physics will betray the fact that neither my own or my son’s (sorry- but especially my son’s) attempts held ‘form’ for more than a mere fraction of a second.

We spent ages on the park and I then led them off on another bike ride to a secret location.

They didn’t like ‘secret location’ bike rides… But they did great. And when we got there, the cinema still had some tickets left for the newly released ‘Minions’ movie.

Quick Film review: Meh…it’s no ‘frozen’ but the kids enjoyed it, so therefore I did.

We cycled back home and got in literally just before the rain started. Great timing.
Great day.
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Oh… and great slippers!

  

Tonight is one of those nights.

You know the ones….

You have work the next day. You’re tired but you don’t want to go to bed because if you do, you know the next time you open your eyes out will be Monday. You don’t want to sound negative about work because actually you quite enjoy it but somehow you still get that Sunday night feeling perhaps because you’ve just enjoyed some great times over the holidays. Perhaps because your youngest child is about to start nursery education tomorrow and you are all too aware of how quickly time accelerates. You have a tenancy to use “you” instead of “I” to make things easier to write about and then you decide to go for a run just because you can. And you enjoy it more than you thought you would. And you stop at 0.99 miles just to prove to yourself that you CAN cope with things not being all perfect…
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…but then find out when you upload it that Nike+ is a compulsive rounder-upper (CRU) [thanks abradypus for putting me onto this terminology]
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…and you think that some things are pretty perfect. Even the imperfect things. And then you think you are sounding pretentious.

So you stop.

10) Balancing

Posted: June 10, 2012 in Juneathon, not running
Tags: ,

Unlike lazyjogger I have been unable to successfully balance family time and sporting brilliance.

The best I managed was one of those ill-fated family walks that should be really nice but as at least 50% of the reason for heading out was to get NotMuchOfaSleeper to actually sleep, her not doing so and just being grumpy instead seemed to rub off on the rest of us.
Since I only do paid work two days/week, and rightly or wrongly apportion a large chunk of my self-worth to creating positive home relationships (together with the fact that my wife is the hardest working person I know and doesn’t give herself breaks that often) this kind of thing (the not having a good time even though all things point to the fact we should) really annoys me… and then I feel annoyed for being annoyed… and then I feel annoyed at being annoyed for being annoyed… and that’s quite annoying! (Which annoys me).

Of course the little madam then fell asleep about 2 metres from our (now-earlier-than-planned return) home.

She is gorgeous but even this evening, I was thinking I’d head out for a decent run to blow away the day’s cobwebs… but she has other plans – possibly teething, possibly just adjusting to her big girl’s bed, possibly practising for her teenage years and identifying all the buttons she can push to send me over the edge.

It’s now 21:30 and I fear that tomorrow’s ironing pile and child school prep will take priority now.

I’ve read a few blogs recently from folks experiencing proper family upset so I’m going to make the choice this evening to be grateful, to do the (stupid) ironing, to get my lovely wife a cup of coffee and (if I feel so inclined) attempt press-ups to exhaustion before I go to bed.

I may even try a handstand… just to further link to the blog title… and because I can*

*actually, I can’t… But I might attempt one anyway.

…but on Easter Monday I entered myself and NotMuchOfaSitStiller into a 2km family run in Wollaton Park, Nottingham.

NotAtAllaRunner did not take part however, and was grateful for NotMuchOfaSleeper requiring some attention I think and she was happy to watch (though in hindsight, she said would have preferred I drive us all for 2 hours to go to Bridlington for the day… I preferred the 20mins into Nottingham, personally!)

Well… the little man did us proud and he completed the 2km course under his own steam, (though not continually running, I admit) in a time of 12 minutes.

Here is is with me on the first hill…

Yeah! Go on my son 🙂

 

And on the last hill…

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And at the end…

Easter egg.... in bag... not...letting...go...

After a further 10 minutes or so, it was my turn. A 10km run. Two marked out laps of the park.

Which is good, because having never actually raced a 10k before it allowed me to take it steady for the first lap and then work out how much I had left and roughly what I could give to the second.
In hindsight, I think I could have paced it out a bit more to be honest, as I made myself a deal on the second lap…

….It was that if I overtook anyone, I would work like Billy.O
(whoever he is… or ‘she’ I suppose if it’s like Billie Piper, but not actually Billie Piper because her surname begins with ‘P’ and not ‘O’)
…anyway, I’d work like Billy.O … to not let them pass me back!

Since I have a rubbish memory of who I had and had not actually overtaken, I just made sure I stayed in front of all those already behind me.

Anyway, I gradually turned the speed up and still had enough for a pretty decent sprint finish at the end:

...gotta be a sprint finish, right?

I’m the super speedy looking one 😉
Excuse the poor quality pic but the original made it look like I was far, far away. To be fair, NotAtAllaRunner did have a little one to battle with on the other arm at point of snapping it, so I’m grateful she managed to take one at all 🙂

I think I like 10k runs.

I think I’ll do another one.

I can cope with pain for 52 mins (which is what it took me) much better than I can cope with it for 4.5 hours (latest marathon) and if I get quicker that’s even less time right? Sod it… let’s skip all this inbetween stuff and I’ll start entering 100m races instead! Right?