Saturday, February 24, 2007

Old and New Friends

Today while I was at the rugby I exchanged texts with a couple of friends. The contrast brought home how I've changed, and how my friends have changed along the way.

The first exchange was with a rugby friend I've not seen for a while. We'd provisionally arranged to meet up at the game, but we said we'd talk this morning to decide what the weather was like etc. By about 3pm I hadn't heard from her so I texted her, to get a reply at about 5.45 (before a 6pm kick off) saying she'd just got up because she'd gone out last night and got to bed at 7.30am.

The second exchange was with someone from running club, wishing me luck for my half tomorrow. She's doing a 10 miler tomorrow and said she was having a quiet night in front of the tv to prepare.

I feel guilty about the friends I haven't seen for a while, but the truth is, they seem to fit into my life less easily now. In the past I'd go to two or even three rugby matches a weekend to see my rugby friends. I'd watch my own team on a Friday night, then see where my friends teams were playing and pop along. For the company, but also as an excuse to have a couple of drinks.

Now, it's not so easy. Long runs and races eat up time on a Sunday morning, and recovery eats up time in the afternoon. I usually don't feel like a drink, and I don't necessarily feel like standing on the terracing either.

And if I met up with them, I wouldn't be able to keep up any more. I know for an absolute fact that they would drink me under the table within about 5 minutes. The person I was texting tonight once went out drinking in London and woke up in Amsterdam, not knowing how she got there, and on another occasion was putting cocktails on a tab, and when she looked at the receipt in the morning there were over 50 on it between two of them. My other rugby friends aren't much more sober either, although they don't have such impressive stories to relate.

I've never really spent much time with any of them away from the match or the pub, and they certainly don't understand what it is that drives me to get up early on a Sunday morning and run long distances. I've changed and they haven't, and when I meet up with them it's hard to reconcile my new lifestyle with what they expect of me. When I did the Eve article the journalist asked whether they were "toxic" and that really isn't the word I'd use. I don't blame them in the slightest for my weight, and I still like them. But we tend to communicate by email and text rather than meeting up in person, because the common ground is falling away.

The new friends on the other hand know this as me, they don't know about the other, binge drinking, pub crawling me. They understand why I don't drink before a race and have an early night because they do the same thing.

They're different, and they reflect very clearly how I've changed. I wish that this process hadn't put that space between me and my old friends, but I suppose if I hadn't changed I wouldn't have met the new ones.


Blogger David said...

Hi again,

I am constantly amazed by how quickly the body adapts to different conditions. I have lost 3 stone in the last 5 months, over this time I have been using a gym to improve my overall fitness - recently I have started running. Not long ago I went out for a couple of drinks with an old work colleague and got quite drunk on only 2 pints of lager!

My wife and I are aiming to do a half marathon later in the year, and have found your blog inspirational. Would you please send us a copy of the Eve article to

My wife's blog is at



8:25 AM  
Blogger JustJunebug said...

Your life sounds like mine.

Well except that I went on a bender this past Saturday, but it was AFTER my 10K race.. :)

6:46 PM  

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