Tryers. Running headlong into the face of adversity no matter how many times someone warns them it’s a bad idea. Whether it’s a difficult conversation about the washing up or seeing how many burgers I can eat in a week (current record is 5), I’d say I’m one of their party.
Of course, when I was younger I didn’t realise I was a tryer – I was under the impression that I was an utter succeeder. God my year 4 teacher had a sense of humour when she let me sing the unabridged version of ‘Cauliflowers Fluffy’ at the school harvest festival purely because I, self-nominated, thought it was a brilliant idea. In a similar vein, I merrily attended dance classes until aged 14 because no one had the heart to tell me my physique was more bodybuilder than ballerina. Oh how the floorboards would shake as I gleefully leapt across the room in a skimpy leotard. Happy memories.
It was in secondary school, however, that the cracks began to show. The tryer in me was convinced I could compete in a charity swimathon, and 75 lengths later I was punching the air victoriously with one hand and clinging to the side for dear life with the other. I still have the chip in my tooth where my water-weary arms didn’t quite do the job of heaving me out of the deep end first time, and I fell crashing back into the depths via the concrete slabs. Logic dictates I must have got out eventually, probably using the more sensible but less flashy option of the handy walk-in ladder.
Things got interesting in my teens, when joining the gym to stalk someone I fancied seemed like a sensible way to while away twenty pounds a month. Having learnt my lesson from my ballet/swimming heyday, naturally there was no point trying to get fit, so I enjoyed a leisurely power walk on the treadmill or read historical literature on the lazy bike. A tryer in the romantic arena if nothing else.
But let me put to you, reader – where would we be without the tryers? We all think we want to be on the winning team, but there’s nothing Britain loves better than a runner up. Think Olly Murs, Bake Off’s Norman, Neville Longbottom – these are the true greats of our time, and none of them were there to take the starring role.
So yes, today I went for a pitifully slow jog in the rain, waiting til the farthest point from my house to realise I was tired and not in the mood to run much further. And yes, I proceeded to spend the rest of the evening eating Nutella out of the jar. Yet I’m pretty sure the physical impact of my jaunt down the canal was similar to that of a big league athlete knocking out a half marathon, and the Nutella? If that’s not winning I’m not sure I want in on the team.