The letter ‘M’ is used to start many words, for example, the word Motivation; something I’d been lacking for a little while. I needed a goal. Paddle a canoe down the coast? Hike the National Trail? Learn to scuba dive? Nothing clicked. Then a few weeks ago I was strolling through the bush behind my two mutts when a bloke came jogging by, and as he bounded effortlessly past us I thought, ‘That’s it!’
Returning home I logged onto the internet, found my new goal and called out to Long Suffering Wife, “Honey, I’m going to do the Gold Coast Marathon!” She took a quick look at the web page, looked at me, then started laughing. Some more ‘M’ words are Merriment, Mirth and Mocking. Afterwards, she asked, “Why are you doing this to yourself?”
“Well, O Queen of the Suburbs,” I replied, “it’s one thing to retire wealthy, but quite another to retire healthy. Just think; my hard work now will ensure that you and I will be together for years after I retire.” She was so touched by this that she burst into tears.
The next ‘M’ word is Months. I have approximately ten Months to go from being a non-runner to competing in a marathon next July. As part of my preparations, I received permission from a nearby school to use their oval early in the mornings, and set off at dawn the next day for my first run. The next pair of ‘M’ words are ‘Measurements’ and ‘Mathematics’. The inside track round the oval is a distance of three hundred and forty metres. To complete my marathon I would need to be able to circle the oval at least one hundred and twenty three times at a reasonable speed. Gazing at the grass covered track I was struck by how big an oval is when you’re actually standing on it, as opposed to casually glancing at it while driving by. The next ‘M’ word is Move, as in, ‘move those legs’.
Mind also starts with ‘M’. In my mind I saw myself gracefully soaring over the ground, grass flying in my wake, and a light bead of sweat covering my determined brow. But this was not the case. Picture a race between the hunchback Quasimodo and the Elephant Man on a very hot day, and you’ll get the idea. Right now I would probably be in with a chance of beating at least one of them… if I had a bit of a head start, and they had roaring colds.
‘M’ is for Murder. All crossword fans know that this is the correct name for a gathering of crows, ie: a ‘murder’ of crows. It had not escaped my notice that by lap five, as my breath roared in and out of my gaping, dribbling mouth, that several large crows were sitting expectantly on the crossbar of the football goal posts. By lap seven they had moved from the crossbar to the edge of the track. And as spots filled my eyes on lap nine, they were strolling casually alongside me and giving each other the crow equivalent of the ‘thumbs up’. I called it quits on lap ten and staggered home.
Another ‘M’ word is Massage. Long Suffering Wife listened to my desperate pleas for a rub down, before pointedly rolling over and going back to sleep. Staring at the trail of wet grass my shoes had tracked from the back door through to the bedroom I thought, ‘Well, she’s got enough to do today anyway.’ She must have got up while I was showering though, because I could hear her shouting through the locked door. This time the word Murder was being used in its’ normal context.
Waiting until the noise tapered off I dashed from my sanctuary, taking care to avoid a certain mop wielding woman, and drove off to search for a Mentor. I’m obviously going to need all the help I can get.
Published in the Gladstone Observer 17/8/09