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Landing yourself right in it

A Breaffy Man in Castlebar
edwin-mcgreal_full_290

Landing yourself right in it


Edwin McGreal

Ask questions later.
It is an admired trait in GAA circles, one that earns approving nods from the hard-pleased greats of yesterday in the stand. Go in and take man and ball in a challenge and don’t worry about your opponent or your own safety until afterwards.
But it can be a foolish thing to do off the field. To go in ‘bald-headed’ without thinking about the consequences of your decision or action.
I landed myself right in it at work last week. We were seeking volunteers to run in the Achill half-marathon in July and sure I was in like a flash - ‘arragh yeah, no bother, sure it’s only a half-marathon’.
It was only after committing that I was able to stand back and consider what I had let myself in for. A half-marathon is over 13 miles.
The longest I’ve ever run is under half that distance and that when I got a daft notion whilst living in Sydney to run from my house to Bondi Beach and back. The uphill journey home nearly killed me.
And, now I’ve put myself forward for twice that on an island that has its fair share of hills too.
At work they tell me I’ll be fine. ‘Sure aren’t you training for Gaelic football all the time’. Which is true, I have been training with Breaffy since the start of the year but, like Paddy working on the building site, going to training and actually training are two entirely different things.
Seeing as I’m a goalkeeper I don’t get subjected to the same tortures as the rest of the lads, apart from an odd dive when they actually manage to get a shot on target.
So it was with a heavy heart and even heavier legs that I took to the road last Thursday morning. Alarm set from the night before, all set to run the five miles ‘around the block’.
‘The block’ I refer to brings you over the main Breaffy road to the church, down by the back of the school, left at Caulfield’s Cross, down by Corheens and back out at Kilkenny Cross before going home via the main road again.
The alarm goes off then to call me from my bed but the notion of calving halfway around fills me with dread. Ah, sure, press snooze and we’ll give a shorter run ago. Rome wasn’t built in a day and all that. No point killing yourself just yet.
By the time I eventually get up I’ve reduced my early morning run to a two miler, up the Cottage Road at the side of the house, turn at Jack Sheridan’s and back.
Thankfully it was still early enough for little enough traffic to be on the road to spot my feeble attempts at putting one foot in front of the other without falling into a ditch.
I make it home, eventually, in one panting, sweat-covered piece. I console myself with the fact that I only have to add another eleven miles to that, with hills, for Achill. Arragh yeah, no bother indeed. was a winner.