It is GCSE results day. For once we are far removed from the students who are receiving their grades. With the early morning sun bouncing in silver streaks across the surface of the pool, Bolton seems a long way from here.
We’re on holiday, but that doesn’t stop my daughter from refreshing her email every minute as she waits for her RE result to arrive. She gets a grade 9 which is just reward for the hard work that she’s put into it throughout YR10. Her final year at high school looks promising.
Less so my Achilles Tendon.
My last run was nine days ago. It has ached, burned, throbbed. I can’t swim. I can walk quite well in Crocs, but the trainers I’ve brought with me irritate it after a few hours.
It is tempting to throw the towel in with it all: with swimming, cycling, running. I could live a life that is acceptable to me without any of these things. But I don’t want acceptability. I want to live and running has been such an integral part of me that I feel cheated out of my own life. I vacillate between acceptance, anger, and if I’m honest what at times feels a bit like grief. I’m now 13 months into trying walk normally.
But I tap these words on an iPhone half way up a Greek hill. In a mile in each direction there are restaurants and tavernas. My family is getting ready for an evening out. My children are successful in their own individual ways, and more importantly seem happy. My Achilles woes seem inconsequential when I remember what I have to be grateful for.
Behind me, in an olive grove that seems parched, the bushes seem to be thriving despite the relentless sun and the searing heat. In the end, life finds a way.