Pain like a thousand needles attacking the toes, and moving slowly upward – hitting, chewing at the ankles like an deranged bulldog, then further up to the knees – battering pain, the thighs OOOUCH – the heart thumping thumping pounding – I feel “the alien” reaching out!! then the brain screaming!!! “what the hell are you doing”!!!! JOGGING / RUNNING – YESSSSS

What in the hell got me to do this!! – well, let me tell you – I am not what you call fairly fit, I am not what you call small – in fact I am over weight (100kg) and have an amazing love for food and wine!!, a sportsman for the good life,  in my league I would be world champion! BUT then one day it hits you ….nearly 50 and out of breath! and I want to continue the “good living” so I have to get fit!. My wife has already started – and within a short while she is running 10km without any problem – SO it has to be easy?? you kidding!! it aches!IMG_0914

I meet with a friend who kindly hands me over a pair of trainers, and that’s all it takes! – I was already exhausted just putting them on!  We walk along the river in Mandelieu to the sea – its a great day, blue skies, slight breeze on the sea – then we start – ouch ouch, pain pain, ache ache – then after One minute we start walking again! when I get my breath back we start again, ouch ouch, pain pain, ache ache – another minute and we start walking again. Totally ridiculous – after my first experience – he hands me over the shoes – they are mine – Merci Nicolas – he tells me that now I will be obliged to run again! – hmmmmmm.

Can I really be sooooo bad?? can I really not run for more than one minute?? what makes one run run run run with a smile?? – We live in a great region, with sports being on the top of the list for tourists – Marathon / Triathlon  / trails /Iron man / Odyssea – there are runs for everyone! Last October there was the Nice to Cannes Marathon – record number of runners – I was cycling that day and stopped to see this wave of happy12039203_996776300387943_1069308102831673497_n runners surf by me – old, young, runners, first time marathon runners – the bodies said everything, fun, pain, pleasure, agony – ALL with  one common message on the face – total happiness??? – how did they get to this stage?? what is the secret?? Can I actually make it?

The answer is one step at a time!

I started asking around friends about the sport, the gear, what to buy – how to start – answers varied from the hight street sports shop to the expert boutiques – with prices varying from the low to high – so much to choice from ! what kind of shoe for a running as bad as me? who can help? 

1372I was then recommended by a close friends to go and visit Foul&es  – why not – I needed advice, and did not want to buy the wrong shoes – spend money to throw away! – I did feel a little out of place – these guys are fit, and there I am a huge sunami sweating with the thought of running! – then they simply smiled at me and took over the show, took me by the hand –  was like a little boy in a sweet shop! They guessed it was the first time for me… – this did not matter, in fact it was all fun – I tried several shoes, they asked me to run, change shoes, run again – they were fine tuning the gear needed for a person like me! but what about the price?? spending so much time with me, they must cost a fortune!! I start sweating agin!! – but NO the prices were the same in the large sporting shops! so how come?? 

Simply they love what they do – the work is their hobby and it shows – they actually have great pleasure in taking people like me and assisting them “one step at a time” – 

Other runners stop buy, they too get in the action, and before you know it , it all started making sense – these runners are all having fun! I have to give it a try.

Foul&es now also – are also involved in organising events and also sponsor several runners and athletes – when I was in 1384the boutique I had the privilege to encounter Anouk FORAFO – National and international Heptathlon athlete for the past 15 years, with Athletic Club de Cannes.  Such an impressive athlete, and here she is chatting away to me! – so a wonderful sportsperson, and great to chat with – will take her advice gladly. 

1391Pascal, Julien and Anthony are all passionate runners – Pascal running the marathon 3h and trainer FFA, Julien just over 31 minutes for the 10km – yet humble, friendly and eager to help – the boutique offers all kinds of trainers for all activities, clothing, to the more technical equipment and electronic gadgets! An oasis for runners and the  to be runners like me!

Pascal then sat me down and draws up the simple running programme for beginners – 4 week programme…

Last Thursday I started – I parked on the Palm Beach in Cannes, got equipped  – first day 10 minute run followed by 5 minute walk and end with a 10 minute run…. it took me nearly an hour!! but I have decided, and will continue. I will not give up. Got home and could not walk up the steps – my legs had stiffened up – they were like two chop sticks – not to mention the next day – call me Pinnochio – so the second day took it easy, stretched and did some cycling.

The second stage – 10 run, 5 walk, 10 run to end with 5 min walk – still my body is still pounding, aching, ankles felt like cement, and was running like an elephant! – I get home and I actually walked up the stairs no problem – I walked around the apartment no problem – has something started to happen??

The third stage – same as the second with an additional 5 min run – scary, but it has to be said – I was actually starting to understand, enjoy, have fun??

Today – the same as third stage – with an addition dose of enjoyment, having fun – it does help when you have the right shoes and the mediterranean sea as a back drop! ha ha

Week 2 starts next week – and look forward to the end of the programme to go back and see Pascale and his merry men of runners.

I am now actually got to the stage of wanting to get up early and do the run – the “ouch ouch, pain pain, ache ache”, has now become “heck I might just be able to do a Marathon after all”

Merci , thank you Pascale for all your great advice, friendship and look forward coming back to the boutique, and who knows we might do a run together.:)

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