Park Runs

I am now sweating like a pig.

And ashen-faced apparently. Well I would be, wouldn’t I. Me and exercise, have a strained relationship. I do it occasionally and feel strained.

However, this morning I’ve decided to join a park run. Not one of those fun, communal gatherings in the local park with like minded individuals (we’ve all been there in our younger days) but a set of stress fuelled shuttle runs carrying an 18kg training aid.


Mrs DB got tagged out for her all too limited R&R time and I took B to the local park for a go on the swings.  Not just any park you understand, this is St James’ Park. St bloody James’ Park. Not in Newcastle but round the corner, named after a random bloke called James that B met the first time me went there. Minding his own business, looking after his toddler, approached by this walking autobiography of a child…

Hello, I’m B.

Eh… Hi. I’m James.

I used to go to pre-school but they won’t let me go there now.

I have a new house.

I’ve been moved here.

I live with him now [pointing at me].

I like cows.

I want to go to pre-school but I’m not allowed.

They won’t let me anymore.

Do you have a T-Rex?


So this startled, and now suspicious, gentleman, following this baffling and fleeting conversation, has become something of a local hero.

“I miss James.”

“I love James.”

“Will James be at the park?”

“Where’s James?”

“What do you think James is doing?”

Bloody James! Well he’s not the one making you Ready-brek at 5am in the pissing morning is he?? (internal monologue there).

[Mark my words, in time they are going to discover that stuff is more harmful than asbestos. Open the packet and the dust gets everywhere. That’s how Chernobyl happened. Fast forward 20 years and I’m going to be in a home, plumbed into an oxygen tank, discussing compensation with my no win no fee solicitor. Think I’m making it up?? Remember the adverts from the 80s… “Central Heating for Kids”! Now do you believe me??! Google it. WE’RE DOOMED PEOPLE.]

Anyhow, I digress.

So, my exercise routine…

First I start with a gentle 500m trot… carrying a three year old, a scooter, a frisbee, a football, a rain coat, some wet wipes and a hula hoop. Cheered on by a crescendo of cheers “Daddy, I need a poo. Quick Daddy, I really need one. It’s coming”.

I make my target time on this one and am delighted with the inspiring motivational talk I get given while staring at him again.

Then the second sprint. A sprint (ish) this time. We’ve been having fun. Tickling each other with feathers, so much joy. Then boom. He trips over and bangs his head on the park bench. Massive Cry. Massive egg on his head. MASSIVE panic from me.

This is the first time either of us have broken our son.


Mrs DB is going to be even madder about this than she was about the car park woman. Do I call social services immediately and hand myself in? Will they think I’ve hurt him? Again, ARGHHHH…

No sound track this time. He’s awake, he’s not crying, he’s not particularly impressed but he’s still with us. I arrive back, for the second time in 20 minutes, looking like I’ve seen a ghost. Call your sister, I say, she’s had kids, she’ll know what to do.

She did. She also thinks I’m a plonker. But a bag of frozen peas later and we’re alright.

Phew. Tough Day.

Can’t help thinking St James would have handled this better…


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