Fanta

September 3rd 2016

Today I went on a run around my home town and inadvertently ended up in the dodgy bit. Well… One of the dodgy bits. 

I found myself at this wall of graffiti that I recognised. 

It took me a moment but I realised that I remember it from a bike ride from when I was 11 or something. I don’t know why but I remember being out for a bike ride with my sister, Kirstyn, and perhaps one other person – I don’t remember that far. My next door neighbour, maybe. 

Anyway. 

We were on this bike ride and I was 11 and struggling. We’d gone quite far, it was a hot day, and I was pretty puffed out. To encourage me to keep going Kirstyn told me to keep repeating the words “Ice Cold Glass of Fanta” to myself. Because we’d put a bottle of Fanta in the fridge before we went out. And it was the only thing that kept me going on the ride. Being able to go home and be refreshed. That future thought made the present more bearable. 

I remember vividly that this conversation took place in front of the very same graffiti wall that I ended up at today. I doubt I could find it again if I tried, but I remember that it was that exact place. 

Today, when I ran past that wall I thought of the story again. It’s funny, because to this day I still use the “ice cold glass of Fanta” technique to get me through runs. If I’m struggling to keep going, I just say it to myself. Over and over. I make the beats of the words fit time with the beats of my shoes on the pavement. 

LEFT FOOT – ICE

RIGHT FOOT – COLD

LEFT FOOT – GLASS OF 

RIGHT FOOT – FANTA

LEFT FOOT – ICE

RIGHT FOOT – COLD

LEFT FOOT – GLASS OF 

RIGHT FOOT – FANTA

ICECOLDGLASSOFFANTA

It’s funny, because I don’t even drink Fanta anymore. My liquid diet is strictly water and coffee. I guess “ice cold glass of water” is the same amount of syllables, but it’s not the same principle. 

It’s weird that today, while on a run, I ended up at the exact place where that started. Running has always been as much mental as it is physical for me, and tricking my mind by distracting it with things like “ice cold glass of Fanta” works perfectly at turning 5 miles into 8 miles. 

I’m older and fitter than I was when we first came up with that strategy, but it’s still the same problem. I’ve just gotta encourage myself to keep going. And keep going. And keep going. 

Until tomorrow, ice cold glass of Fanta. 

Jacn

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