My hero

He’s a man I’ve never spoken to. I only ever see him riding his bike or running occasionally, but I’m completely convinced his character can be inferred from the way he moves and the calm look on his face.

He’s bald, not usually an heroic characteristic, but it’s his physique that immediately marks him out as special. His is what used to be called a military bearing (I can easily imagine him surrounded by the 1st SS panzer division, politely declining to surrender ).

A smooth, padding motion distinguishes his running style which is about 50% faster than I, 15 years his junior, can manage. My hero’s body remains the kind of wiry organic machine that athletes have -athletes, by contrast though, are such narcissists. I really admire his ability to sustain a high level of fitness and to remain in-shape long after his contemporaries (and their lardy kids) have deliquesced into couch-mash.