I am a wuss. I loved rollerblading when I was a teenager, but only did it in a calm and controlled manner, just in case of a bad fall leading to broken bones. I have a phobia of broken bones. I would climb trees, but not too high. I would swim in the sea at Durban, but not too deep, due to the small risk of being eaten by a great white shark. I even played Monopoly against my siblings, despite the 99% chance of it ending in a combination of yelling, crying and fisticuffs.
I like having fun, once I have done a quick risk-analysis in my head.
I’m a bit like that geeky bloke on last year’s Apprentice.
I am definitely not brave. So having people tell me that I am, these last few months, has been difficult to accept. After all, I didn’t volunteer to have cancer in place of someone else or anything. I am just keeping going; not in an adventurous way but in a boring, everyday way. I am not fishing for compliments, it’s the truth.
I do admire actual brave people. Not necessarily the winners, the ones who get the gold medal and all the attention. Sometimes them, but more often the ones who had a lot to overcome just to get to the start line, never mind the finish. The ones who were told it was impossible. They were too old, too young, too poor, too stupid. They did it anyway. Proper heroes.
People like the ones who do Parkrun even though they know they will be right at the back, far behind everyone else. Still running while all the ‘proper’ runners have gone home. Good for the proper runners and all that, but even gooder for the ones who will never get medals and praise but turn up week after week anyway.
I may not be a winner. I may not be brave. But I do turn up, and I think that really, that’s the most important thing. Except in Monopoly: then it really is very important to win at all costs.