Some people like running. Some people like taking photos. Some people can do both, but can anybody do them both at the same time without ending up with a smorgasbord of fractures and a face like John Merrick?
Speaking personally, as I tend to do, I love running and I love taking photos, I have just never mastered the art of doing both at the same time. For starters, where do you put the camera? You can’t hang it round your neck like a distended and painful necklace. You can’t put it in your shorts as that would simply be a cheap, shallow and probably criminal boast. And, call me a snob, if you like, but using a camera phone just isn’t the same thing, not for me anyway. I may be on my own here, but camera phones should largely reside in the world of teenage girls with narcissistic tendencies and too much eye liner. Go on, you agree really, just admit it, you know you want to.
The main thing with running and photographs though, is the fact that you have to stop to take the photo, at least if you don’t want the image to look like the worst kind of Keith Moon flashback ever anyway. Stopping is cheating. You’re going for a run, not a bunch of pauses interspersed with moderate perambulation.
So, here is the dilemma. Running, being at foot level and outside of the car gives you a completely different and insightful view of the world. Perhaps it’s the lack of oxygen, perhaps it’s the way the brain wobbles about in the head that is wobbling around on the shoulders that are jolted up in the air with every passing footstep, but there is a different view of life when you’re running.
As ever, I keep my eyes peeled, albeit in the interludes when the sweat is not jabbing pins in them. I identify what would be a great shot, an arresting image an alluring view of my world that others have never seen. I see the colours, the shadows, the hidden detail. And as I have no camera, the only tool I have left is the human version of Windows Explorer, the fleshy, cranial photo album that is my head, my mind and memory. I have to commit these glorious images, award winning captures to my memory and there in lies the gaping, seismic chasm of a problem. My memory is rubbish. I’d like to simply claim that it just “isn’t what it used to be”, but that would be complete and utter rubbish.
It’s not the pain in my joints or the dangerous loss of fluids that have caused it. It’s my colander, sieve of a brain that is the problem. I can remember the words to a song I have never, ever liked such as Too Shy Shy by Kajagoogoo, but never the important stuff, the stuff I want to remember. As soon as I have passed them by, these photos are lost to me. A slide show of forgotten, images that have passed away.
Perhaps that’s just another argument against running?