Bounding out of work (I can’t think of a time I’ve bounded into work). Sun still shining. There’s still a warm, shiny evening to enjoy. The faster I run the more of it there will be (when I get home). I crank up the volume on my earphones. Loud music gives my running a boost. Combining psychologically with my bright new Adidas Ultra Boosts. Running fast and having fun.
At Southwark Bridge there are a number of options. Option 1: Left, crossing over the River Thames to Option 1A: the busy Southbank Thames Path, or Option 1B: the quieter but less scenic back roads or Option 2: stay north of the river in the Embankment. (There’s actually a lot more options but listing them all would make for a dull post).
Decision time? 3 options. 3 different ways to travel to the same destination, all delivering the same outcome. In theory. On such small routine decisions our fate is decided. Option 3. I choose to stay north as it’s a longer run to Waterloo and whilst it’s busy the pavements are wider providing lots of space to run fast whilst enjoying the sun and postcard London.
It’s busy. I feel like I’ve turned the corner with my running. I’m running faster, more freely, less painfully. I’m on the right of the pavement, near the kerb, a tourist steps right, right into my path. It happens quickly but it’s fine I’ve anticipated this. Cycling in London makes you anticipate. I hadn’t anticipated putting half a foot on the kerb and half a foot on nothing. I don’t go down completely, a desperate stumble, a slow motion stumble so I hear the crack from my ankle clearly. This is going to hurt. The stumbling is over, I’m running again. No I’m not. It’s no good. I have to stop. I should have gone south taken Option 1B.
Holding on to the nearest wall, looking at the sparkling Thames – there aren’t many days a year that it looks this blue and sparkling, looking down at my ankle watching it balloon. Visibly. Off course I try to run on it, run it off. Run to Waterloo before it gets really bad. I’m not running this 1 off. The reality is that I limp slowly, painfully from Blackfriars Bridge to Waterloo Station. Blackfriars Bridge to Waterloo Station is longer than you think, especially on 1 leg. In retrospect hailing a black cab would’ve been the sensible option but I’m not thinking straight. I’m thinking about making a positive from a negative, I’m thinking about choices, hindsight and fate. Why didn’t I go South? This wouldn’t have happened if I’d gone south. But that’s something I’ll never know.
Footnote: shit happens.