Parenting is great for fitness levels

Clive Smith says he would not like to arm wrestle athlete Caster Semenya 		Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

CLIVE SMITH: English pigs? Don’t bite the hand that feeds you

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When I think back to last summer, it seems the majority of my time was spent tying the laces on my running trainers, strapping my GPS watch to my wrist, doing a few stretches and then setting off to run through the streets of Portsmouth.

It was all in preparation for my second go at completing the 10-mile Great South Run around Southsea.

I got the running bug all over again and would become anxious if my schedule meant there was no time for a run.

I also got fit and could easily pop out for an eight-mile jog without being out of breath.

But since that windy day in October, when I completed the course quicker than I did before, I’m ashamed to say my running trainers have not seen much action.

In fact, if you asked me to tell you the location of said trainers, I admit I wouldn’t be able to.

With spring here and the weather improving, I hope to hunt my trainers down, re-charge my GPS watch and get back out there soon.

And when I do, I don’t think it will take long to get back into the swing of things as I have something else in my life that keeps my fitness levels high and they are called Caitlin and Alyssa – my daughters.

It starts in the morning when two- year-old Alyssa will ask me to pick her up to the level of the breakfast cereal on top of the kitchen cupboard.

Sometimes she’ll have a little think before she makes her decision, all while my arm muscles are taking the strain.

Then there is the walk to Caitlin’s school, only a short walk but every little helps – and of course there is then the walk home again.

Later in the day I think I have a few minutes to sit down while my daughters are playing in their bedrooms, but of course I’m wrong when a request comes from Caitlin to put new batteries in one of her toys and up the stairs I go.

And just recently I feel I have done the equivalent of the Great South Run in my own home – while chasing Alyssa who has a cold.

You see, a bug has entered our house and we all have the usual symptoms of a cold.

Four-year-old Caitlin is well-trained in how to blow one’s nose, but Alyssa on the other hand hasn’t grasped this technique yet and I need to get to her before the goo running from her nose makes its way south and enters her mouth.

As soon as she sees me ready to pounce with tissue in hand she makes a run for it.

I’m not going to complain, as it means I’ve earned that piece of chocolate cake for dessert.

But only to keep my energy levels up, of course.