Thank you Mr Samuels

Today I just completed my first 10k run. I have been running for a while, mainly to maintain fitness, and to lose a little bit of weight as well. I can’t really afford to go the gym, so I reckon that this is next best thing.

So, off I set today, but it was very clear that after only about 15 mins, my legs were really hurting – shin splints I think, but it was not comfortable running at all.

I have also been watching quite a few episodes of Home and Away from 1988 when it was first broadcast on Ch7 Australia, and subsequently transmitted on ITV – a rival to Neighbours at the time, which was one of the most popular shows amongst ‘da yoot’.

And there was a character called Mr Samuels   – a PE Teacher at Summer Bay High, who wasn’t very nice to some of the protagonists, but had a after school group called the ‘Power Pack’ – training hard to win and reach physical fitness. Winning was everything, and there was no prize for second place.

As I was running this morning, my legs were really killing me – I dropped the pace considerably to see if that would help, but they were still hurting. I wanted to stop – stop, take five mins, re-set the watch and try again. But today’s objective was to run a full 10k – by stopping that would have defeated the goal.

Then I had in my head a moment from the episodes of Home and Away I was watching, with Mr Samuels screaming to his Power Pack, to keep running, push your limits, and be a winner – don’t quit! And for some very odd reason, this spurred me on –

It was the thought of failure – of stopping half way through that egged me on, along with that characters voice in my head – and so I continued, slowing the pace down and just concentrating on getting back home – and not stopping.

I managed it – just. Checking the stats on Nike Running I clocked 53 mins for 10k’s. I am really pleased as I wanted to get under one hour, so this beat my expectations. And am really pleased I didn’t give up – I had been running all summer to see if one day I could eventually accomplish it. And the same again Weds morning as well – hope the legs have recovered by then…..

The Mrs sighs when I watch such episodes in the front room – probably puzzled why I am watching a soap broadcast 22 years ago. Well, one reason is nostalgia (and I did have a crush on Lynn davenport), and secondly, without watching those episodes, I would have not remembered Mr Samuels and the Power Pack, and the will to win as prescribed by his mantra to the pupils.


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