Have you ever found yourself in a position where you’ve thought to yourself, “If only …?”  Whether it was, “If only I could afford that Audi TT/second latte/extra pack of hair dye for my grey roots,” or, “If only I could tell this interviewer what I was really thinking,” or, “If only this woman in the cinema would stop bloody well talking FOR JUST ONE MINUTE!!!”  Ahem, well … you get the picture. 

Last week, I had an “If only …” moment.   I decided to buy a new pair of trainers.  Not exactly groundbreaking news, granted, but considering my last pair was five years old, I decided that I deserved to get fitted for an expensive pair this time.

So instead of picking up a pair in the Sainsburys sale, I headed to Sweatshop, (formerly He Runs She Runs.)   This is no ordinary sports shop.  This is for serious runners.  Of course, I’ve never set foot in there before.

After asking an assistant for advice , I was ushered upstairs to the ‘holding area.’  All very hush hush.  I sat with my extremely patient Other Half and waited until the young lady appeared.  I had already spied a treadmill in the corner of the and began to bitterly regret ever walking in.

Sweatshop aren’t interested in selling you any old trainer.  No – what Sweatshop like to do is film you on the treadmill.  They want to see how your feet fall, what your gait is like and adjust the trainers accordingly.  That’s right, film you.  Hmmm.  Right.  Hadn’t really thought that through had you Kate?

We all traipsed over to the gallows/treadmill, jeans rolled up to my knees, looking like I was off for a paddle at Margate beach, my first pair of trainers cutting off all circulation to my toes and I came face to face with my nemesis.

I stared at the treadmill.  The treadmill stared straight back.

Oh it’s on!

“What speed do you normally run at?”  she asked me.  I couldn’t detect any sarcasm.  She was being perfectly serious.

“Erm … (plucking a random number out of thin air.)  Seven?”

“I’ll put you on an eight I think,” she suggested.  Gee, thanks.

By now, I was getting somewhat tense.  I hate running.  Always have done.  It’s uncomfortable for me and ‘the girls,’ I’m not very good at it and quite frankly, why run when you can walk?

And this is when I had my, “If only …” moment.  As I ran on the treadmill, all eyes on me, boobs swaying left and right, I suddenly wished I was someone else …

Unfortunately, they couldn’t rebuild me.  I was too far gone.  My knees are more crunchy than bionic and quite frankly, I have to have the TV at full volume as it is.

As much as I like to think that I am bionic some days, I’m afraid to say that I am not The Bionic Woman.  I’m just a forty year old mum whose body has seen better days.

But all is not lost.  New trainers are just the start and who knows, maybe I just might go out for a jog today.

‘If only’ it wasn’t snowing …

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Published by Kate Sutton

Writer, Mother, Dater.