’tis the season for forced family fun…….


Carols, gifts, open fires, scrooge, stockings, stuffing, mulled wine, turkey and tinsel are all Christmas traditions, but what really  defines Christmas is the annual Christmas family row. Sharing the same house, the same bathroom and having to put up with young children galloping around the place causes  family disharmony – screaming and tears and often meaningless arguments rage in households across the western world over Christmas.forced funEvery family Christmas comes with a “know it all” who offers unsolicited advice on career progression, child rearing and pension options. The “martyr” works away in the kitchen, slaving over a hot stove as the “passive aggressor” looks over their shoulder saying “whatever you think is best” with a question mark attached. But the main concern during the dinner prep is that the “whinger” is happy,  and their brussel sprouts aren’t touching the gravy on the plate. Every family has a “whinger”. But all this flies over the head of the “freeloader” who lazes around, happy to avoid cooking, cleaning and changing a nappy. While the “cheerleaders” efforts to get everybody to play monopoly or “pie face” usually ends in tears.

But the “runner” is just waiting for the gap in the fence to get out for a run, away from the madness. But lets be honest the “runner” is not completely innocent of the provocation of the annual Christmas argument. Buying the latest Garmin GPS running watch for your Kris Kindle at Christmas may not go down well because believe it or not, there are a few strange people out there who – get this – don’t run. As a runner its important to remember it is Christmas after all and most people want to sit, lounge around, relax  and recover from overindulgence. So don’t expect those who are sat by the fire to take any interest in hearing  your post-run words of wisdom as you bask in your runners high. Nobody needs there inadequacy highlighted as they gorge on a tin of roses, watching the full catalogue of “Back to the future” by looking at a sweaty mess full of the joys of life having completed a tempo run. If you want to avoid being the catalyst for a family feud resist the self-righteous pontification about the benefits of running and save the attempt to convert non running family members to fully paid up members of the athletic club until the new year. Sneak out for runs and make sure to stick to the to the strict schedule of organised fun – the meals, the walks , the films and the games – secretly knowing you will get some head space when you get out for a run and burn off the excess!

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