We were down the pub the other night chatting to a cheery crowd who visit our local from time to time.
Neil, who’s a past marathoner himself, was asking how my 50 marathons by age 50 challenge was going and the importance of having support from people closest to you.
I said that my husband John and I were effectively Team Earlam – but the other morning when it was pouring with rain as I set off for a 12 mile training run, I’d have been really happy to swap places and let John don the trainers instead.
“Ah, but you’re the muppet that runs,” said Neil laughing, as we all then joined in.
I was amused and then later reflective.
Unfortunately, John’s not been too well lately. We’re hoping the doctors may have at last pinpointed the problem and be able to do something about it. Fingers crossed.
But it has been, and continues to be, a worrying time.
My dad’s condition is deteriorating and he now attends day care once a week – something he doesn’t want to do. It’s helpful for him, essential for my mum. But in his mind he sees it as being sent off for the day when “there’s nothing wrong” with him. So hard to reason with and explain things to people with dementia.
My friend who’s husband has dementia is going through a terrible time as his condition becomes ever more severe. I have no idea how she copes. She must have immense courage.
I read in a recent Saturday Times magazine, the harrowing account from paralysed writer Melanie Reid, of her incredible struggle and unimaginable hurdles to be overcome, because of a late cancelled hospital operation.
So much that we strive for in life and yearn to have are material things. Yet those of us who are well, and not providing a caring role, have the most valuable thing already – our health and the freedom to enjoy it.
I am the muppet that runs, yes.
I’m so fortunate – because I am the muppet who can.