What parkrun did for me while I was having fun.

What parkrun did for me while I was having fun.

I have changed my mind about voluntary work in the last few years. The term used to conjure up images of motherly women in charity shops or retired men driving minibuses- good people doing things because that’s what good people do.

Until I updated my CV, I didn’t realise I’d done so much of it myself. I may have joined teams because they needed someone, but I stayed because I was having fun.

I’ve picked up skills without noticing. I would never have understood the point of my own blog if I hadn’t written so many run reports for the parkrun website. Or how social media works if I hadn’t needed it to rabble rouse athletes.

It gave me too much joy to count as ‘voluntary work’. I had to check other people’s blog posts conformed with house style (‘parkrun’ is spelt with a small ‘p’ even at the beginning of a sentence; hundreds of people turn up on a Saturday morning for a ‘run’ and not a ‘race’,  and no one wins it, although they might finish first.) For a word junkie, there’s nothing ‘voluntary’ about correcting other people’s mistakes. It’s an involuntary reflex.

And that was before I was allowed to process results. Or free reign of the microphone at the briefings.

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Imperfect, but here.

Imperfect, but here.

You may not have noticed, but I’ve been blogging weekly since New Year. I’m quite proud of myself.

There are many benefits, the most obvious of which is my connection with you lovely lot. However, I have to fight perfectionism and vanity to do it. I want each post to be as interesting, as amusing and grammatically correct as the last. And the pictures I’ve taken with a cracked £40 phone to be as beautiful as those in a travel magazine.

But you know that’s not the case, and the fact you’re still here teaches me a lesson: we’re imperfect, fallen human beings with the capacity to enjoy imperfect things.

So, I’m posting this on a Saturday, instead of the Thursday I was aiming for. I’ve not told you the half of what’s happened this week, I can’t see a joke in the last 150 words and I’m showing you a picture of the garden because frankly, the house is too messy for anyone to see. But something is going up because it’s good for me.

Thank you for still being here.