It's coming back to me.
My love of running. It's kid's stuff, a nonsense really. To set off at pace down a stretch of road, flailing limbs, competing with nobody but in a race with something or someone nonetheless.
I associate running with the minutes after we were dropped off at school but before the master had arrived to open up. The ritual was the same every morning, a tight schedule of head-to-head contests to get the day started.
You went up against your own classmates and your own sex. Occasionally you challenged those who were older because a victory in this category granted you a new level of respect that may have been short-lived and overturned with a re-run the following day, but which was still significant.
Running in the teenage years became a torture, something that was required during PE, before volleyball matches, more for the sadistic pleasure of a teacher whose limited knowledge of the human anatomy extended to 10 laps and two types of stretches as a warm-up.
It was only in the twenties that there were glimmers again of running as a possible source of fun. Now in sickness it is so much more, a measure of how much my body can still manage even with its obvious weaknesses.
It's why I force myself to do it, even on days like today when the legs feel like they have been removed overnight, packed with weights and sewn back on and the heavens have opened outside.
I secretly prefer to run in a downpour. It feels more real when you're drenched within two minutes of stepping outside and you are rewarded for good, steady breathing with raindrops from Sellafield in your mouth and you jump over puddles for the entire jaunt until you're near home and then you just run through the water, knowing a hot shower is only a couple of minutes of soggy socks away.
When you run in the rain, you feel ten years old again.