Dear Legs. Yours sincerely, Brain.

Dear Legs.

We haven’t had the best relationship, you and I, over the last 47 years. We were called many an unpleasant name at school because of you, my particular favourite being Captain Cankles but the likes of thunder thighs, tree trunk legs and colossal calves were also in the mix, girls can be so cruel.

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I never felt that you carried us very well. Always a little on the podgy side, calves too big, not much ankle going on, not really an elegant sight to behold. Running was always a bit of an issue wasn’t it. Not executed in great style as you usually fell over your own feet and made a fool of us. Is that why you chose to be in goal in hockey and netball and that you loved to swim, no falling over there, just lots of floating.

Over more recent years we’ve had a slightly better relationship. You’ve come into your own lately, getting up a hill or two but as your school report once said, could do better, could go farther, could go faster.

We’ve never been able to buy nice smart knee length boots because of your somewhat over-sized calves, wellies have been an issue, riding boots were almost impossible and skinny jeans are out, everything just bunches up around your knees and you look rather comical.

And today, well what can I say about today. Today you failed us in training. When asked to do more you simply gave up, you said no thanks, you threw in the towel. Why was that? You know you can do better, you know you have done better. Being tired doesn’t cut it anymore, we know that’s true. You should have, could have, tried harder. Story of our life, eh?

Yours sincerely, disgruntled Brain.

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Dear Brain.

Gosh, don’t hold back will you. Harsh comments, a few of which are fair, but certainly not many. There are two sides to every story and here is my very considered reply to you, dear Brain.

The name calling – where do we start with that one. It probably had nothing to do with you but rather the insecurities of the girls it was coming from. Yes, it was harsh, but you survived school and that was a long time ago. As the song says, let it go. Just stick it on a cloud and blow it away but before you do, let it make you a victor not a victim, let it make you stronger and more resilient, let it make you more considered and empathetic. Let it make you be damned sure never to think those things about other people as you, for sure, know how it feels to have bad things said to you, about you and behind your back. Never, ever be that person.

Did I not carry you well? I have to disagree. We can’t all have leggy legs for yours are strong and healthy. Remember the time you were trodden on by a horse, full pelt, landing heavily and you still have the dent to prove it? Had you not been strong your femur would have broken and you’d have been in a whole lot of trouble. Thank me for that one please and carry that dent as a good reminder of strength, not as a war wound.

I do agree that we were a little podgy, puppy fat as Dad used to say, although you did eat a little too much in your younger days, and your 20’s, but you learnt your lesson as you went along in life to look after yourself. That what you put in your mouth has a direct impact on what you get out of me, your dear legs, so do remember. I’m the only pair you have so feed me well and I will take you to the ends of this earth.

As for the running, didn’t you finish 3 half marathons before you started all of this adventure lark you think I’m too slow at? You didn’t fall over once, you didn’t get a single blister on the feet at the bottom of me, you didn’t once give up even when I got tired because you knew that the only way to get to the finishing line whilst training or taking part was to just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Dear Brain, you have more power to stop me working than I do for you are the ruler of our whole body. You make the decisions as to whether we keep on going or when we stop. Please do remember that your power is the greatest of all. You can be powerful when I am weakx and you can be weak when I am powerful, ultimately the decision is yours, not mine.

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As for the hill or two…Everest, a hill, really?! And all of the other stuff we have done together…seriously?! We, and yes, I say WE, have achieved so much more in life than WE ever thought possible. Remember how you tell people that you never even wanted to climb Snowdon once let alone two 8000ers and Kilimanjaro so many times. We all know that it takes a huge amount of effort to get me into the shape needed for even Snowdon and the bigger stuff so please stop selling us short. WE are doing pretty ok!

Now, for those boots, where do I start with that one?! Who cares if you can’t wear nice knee length boots. Who cares if you think you look odd wearing a skirt, WHO CARES? There are people out there who would steal your legs for the simple reason that they function. They may not look great, they may be like a road map (of life do remember) but do stop being so selfish and vain, end of.

As for today, well today was different. Today, dear Brain, you were not in the right place full stop. Today it was not my fault that we stopped as you made the decision not to carry on. It would have hurt, that one more rep on the bike and rowing machine, gosh it would have hurt but I know we could have done it. You were scared, I don’t know why. Failure? Failure of what? We were there together, remember, in the gym. You were putting me through hell yet again, knowing that every turn of the pedal, every stroke on the rowing machine was going to get us that bit fitter, that bit more prepared for the next 6 months of madness and who knows what after that, but I won’t hold it against you. Today was just one of those days, just don’t use me as an excuse but remember you cannot be on top form every single day.

Dear Brain, do remember that we are in this together, we’re here for the long haul. Do remember to look at the things that we have done together, the adventures we are capable of having in the future and please stop focussing on the things that you feel are negative, the things that you feel we cannot do. No-one else sees it but you. No-one else cares about it but you. Just let it go and stop worrying for worry is a waste of precious energy and will get you nowhere.

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I won’t hold any of the above against you, I promise. You are great at kicking Negative Nelly to the curb and letting Positive Polly sing. You are great at encouraging everyone else to do so too, so take a piece of your own advice and just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Yours sincerely, Legs x

PS Brain - if we weren't strong, if we didn't work together, we would not have been able to do this, just remember that too.