I was pretty average at school sports, my parents were never very sporty so I didn't expect to be so myself. No one thought of me as particularly active and, although I was on the school hockey team, I was quite likely the weakest link – hidden at the back to fill space. None of this really mattered to me, though. I still enjoyed the time we were given to escape scrawling at desks and I'd always try hard but accepted I would never be that good.
Thinking back to the bleep test, though, I remember being in the last handful, still going and feeling thoroughly confused that I was running with the "fit" people. It was brilliant to be in that little group whilst still feeling like I could go on forever but then my teenage insecurities kicked in and I decided that I clearly didn't belong in this elite group – I retired with fuel in the tank and watched as the rest of the group eventually keeled over.
I'm not jealous of those that collapsed on the floor in a nauseated pile next to their guts but I am disappointed I didn't have the confidence to carry on and see just how far I could go. There's nothing I can do about the past, however, so I must look to the future. Now I'm older and wiser and braver (perhaps, read "more stupid"), I'm not worried about my place amongst others but rather what I can do, so I've signed myself up for something that, again, may trigger groans and vomit stories and relief that others don't have to take part. Next year I plan to do my first ultramarathon – 35 miles round the beautiful Scottish Isle of Tiree. It's something I never thought I'd even think of doing but that doesn't meant I can't do it. I might not be the fastest or the strongest runner but that doesn't mean I don't deserve to give it a go.