do one thing a day that scares you

By Andrea Zanetich working with Real Insurance

I remember the exact moment I began to hate running.

The year was 1978, I was in Year 1, and it was the annual sports day at my primary school. As the teacher shot the starting gun, I sprinted as fast as my skinny, scab-kneed legs would carry me, swiftly pulling to the front of the pack of pig-tailed girls.

I ran, and ran, and ran as though there was a new Barbie doll waiting for me at the finish line, grinning in triumph as I approached the long thick rope that the grown-ups were holding up for the winner to run through.

Yet as I slammed into that rope, so did another little girl, Sasha*. We had crossed the finish line at the same time.

But against the thud-thud-thud of the remaining competitors’ small feet racing across the finish line, there was a buzz among the teachers as to who, in fact, had won the race.

Hopping from one foot to another while biting my lip, I waited anxiously for them to call out my name.

But instead it was announced that Sasha had won the race “by a bee’s whisker.”

W-w-what? A bee’s whisker?”

As I stood there perplexed, Sasha went happily up to collect her massive and shiny trophy, grinning like the (whiskered) cat that ate the cream.

I was shattered.

Not only had I been beaten in the race, but the grown-ups were banging on about bee’s whiskers, even though I was pretty sure that there was no such thing!**

So set the wheels in motion of my hate-affair with running.

Since that dark day, I’ve done my best to avoid getting on a running track. Those long distance runs they made you do at school? I’d take a shortcut. Those 8 laps around the oval that was a core part of the P.E. curriculum? “Sorry, I’m not feeling well”. And now, when they rally the mums up to race at my son’s school sports days, wouldn’t you know it, an important call is just coming through on my phone?!


But now, 35 years after the bee’s whisker incident of ‘78, I’m ready to run again.”


Read the Real Insurance Blog to find out why, oh why I’d take this up now,

7 tips that have helped me to get running (including my secret weapon Norman),

and to check out the latest Fox in Flats Dare.



*Hey Sasha, want a re-match?

**According to our set of Encyclopedia Britannica, published in 1977, there was no such thing as a Bee’s Whisker. I checked. 



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  • I remember being chosen last for sports. I couldn’t run worth a dime, I had asthma (and still do) and carried the “I’m not a runner” in my head for years.

    But I’m running now. Albeit slowly and on the treadmill. But I’m doing it. And I’m 45.

    Go me. And go you too!

  • I’m not a runner either, but I do run. I’ve recently got back into it to try and keep fit and toned, because….it works! And I know too it is good for my mental health and my heart. I force myself to go three times a week. I don’t go along way usually between 3-5km each time but I do feel better after I do it. And I’d call it more a jog than a run! Good luck with it Andrea x

  • I started running at 40- for my own head space and as the quickest, most efficient way to get a work out in. I have run a max of 10km- crossing the line with a tear in my eye! anyway…….. what is a “runner”- run your own race girls, get out, be proud and keep running!

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