By Aislinn De'Ath

By Aislinn De'Ath
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Sunday, 22 May 2011

Religion, running and a rockin' good time

I am in pain Reader. Why am I in pain? I shall tell you. I am in pain, because today I did my second jog of the week. Now, if you've been reading this blog since the early days, you will know that I am about as athletic as a potato with a bit of rot sitting in. I gave the whole running thing a try earlier this year when I was getting into character for my graduate film from drama school and that nearly killed me, but for some reason, I have agreed to go running every other day with my mum, round our local park, in ugly clothes and trainers. I look like an asthmatic chav.

Why have I agreed to do this hellish task? Well, to be fair, it is for a very good reason. Recently, a friend of the family passed away from cancer, the second mother of a friend to have done so in a few years. So mum decided to do the Race for Life. And in a moment of weakness, she reminded me what a great cause it's for. I thought 'yeah, you know what? I haven't done much good for charity, save giving some money here and there. This might be a really good thing for me to do, in memory of the wonderful women I know that have passed away.' The thought of losing some weight was also pretty tempting. The thing is Reader, that I had forgotten that running is actually jolly hard work. And after two sessions, my calves have frozen in fear, my arse is throbbing (I think I need sports knickers if such a thing exist, to reign in my wandering flab) and going up stairs is agony. Plus, I'm not sure it's going to help me lose weight, I'm eating more than usual to compensate for the exercise! Although saying that, it is quite nice going round the park and seeing all the baby swans and stuff. Even though the other lady joggers (who, by the way, are scarily buff and toned and never seem to sweat or get out of breath) look at me pityingly. I think they can tell that I'm not cut out for the whole running thing...but I shall persevere. After all, it's for a good cause so I'd look pretty mean if I backed out now! 

The other slightly astonishing thing I did today was go to church. Now, anyone that knows me will be able to tell you that although I'm quite spiritual, I'm not the most religious of people. I was raised by agnostic/atheist parents, who were over-ruled by my heavily catholic Irish grandparents. So I lived in a very chilled house religion wise, but still did my communion and confirmation. For a stage when I was 14, I even wanted to be a nun. Then I did my confirmation classes and had a whole bunch of arguments with the nuns about how wise it really was to tell a bunch of Tottenham teens that contraception was a sin. I mean, really. Then I started a debate about why God would have given women clitorises if he didn't intend sex to be for pleasure, and what constituted as abortion. Needless to say, I was not their favourite student, and it put me right off really committing to religion. I also travelled a lot as a child, and when I came back, my understanding of faith was a little odd. My gran got very worried when I started asking her where the offering tables were in mass one sunday when I was about 5. She asked me what I meant and I replied 'You know, the tables with the food and incense for the Gods, so they make the sun still come up every morning'. Poor Nana. So now I believe what I want to believe. Which is basically that there is a higher power who loves us all, there is a heaven with everything good in it (including deep fried brie, seasides and horror films) but no hell (hell is just the absence of heaven), that if you're good to your fellow humans and animals then good things happen to you too, Karma exists, prayer works and deep down, everyone has something good about them. Which is enough for me really. I don't like to be dogmatic. But going to church today was nice. I like the traditions of lighting candles for people, singing the hymns out of the old dog eared hymn books and kneeling in the pews to pray with the soggy wafer on your tongue, trying really hard not to chew it. It's all quite comfortable and pleasant. Saying that, there were so many depressed looking people there, I wanted to get them all cheering and energetic with a Sister Act style gospel sing-a-long! 

Right Reader, it's late and I'm knackered, so for now, tarrah!
More later 

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