One of our Commissioners gives us a privileged insight into their life. They give us the good and they give us the bad. The story helps us understand poverty a little better. Here is part 1.
I couldn’t hear myself for the sound of the crowd. I couldn’t quite believe I was actually there. It was electrifying. I knew I had to try and focus but it was hard - I couldn’t hear myself think. I knew what I was waiting for though. Once I heard that pistol that would be it. Just go…
I was 15, living in Dennistoun, skipping school, told by the teachers I would never amount to anything in life - and standing at the start line of the 800m in Scotstoun. Running for Scotland. There were nine of us in the race and I was nervous, but I just dug deep into what I was good at. I knew I could run, and I knew I could run well. When the pistol went I got into my wee zone. At the 400m mark I overtook the leader and the way I was running was just so fast. I was off and no-one was catching me.
When I crossed the finish line I ended up falling to the ground - I couldn’t believe I actually won. Even though I got over the line, I was still like - what just happened? I was exhausted, lying on the track they had to pick me up and tell me I had won. I couldn’t take it in; my first race for Scotland and I won gold. I can still remember it so clearly in my head.
Running for Scotland in that race was the high point of my life. It made me feel great. I was doing something I was good at, something that was worthwhile. For once I could believe I was good at something no matter what other people told me. I was good at it and I just went for it. Who knows what the road for me could have been. Who knows? If I hadn’t messed up, maybe I could have been running in the Commonwealth Games.
I grew up in Dennistoun and Duke St. and lived there for twenty-six years. It was a great community to grow up in. There was a lot of happiness there. The people were great and it’s an amazing place. Everybody knew each other and looked out for each other. It was a good area. I’ve got a lot of good childhood memories.
I remember going on my first holiday when I was about six. We went to Blackpool, got the bus down from Buchanan St. I just loved seeing all the lights, I kept thinking - wow – there was just so much for your eyes to feast on.
We went for a week, my mum, my dad and me and it was good. I remember wanting things out of the shops, nagging my mum and dad for them. And I loved it down on the beach. I loved just being on holiday, and didn’t want to come home. I kicked up a fuss, moaning and crying because I wanted to stay. It was a great holiday.
Watch out for part 2, tomorrow...