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I've always been very impatient. At age 10 I frankly found life boring, and I can remember age 9 having the awful thought, as it seems now looking back on it, A war! That should liven things up a bit!
I was playing rugby and the other games English school children do, and there was an event in which races were run, and I won these by a considerable margin.
I was involved in music, acting, and some running, but my firm wish was to become a doctor. That was the formative age when I had decided on the pattern of my career.
I was always a great bundle of energy. As a child, instead of walking, I would run. And so running, which is a pain to a lot of people, was always a pleasure to me because it was so easy.
I wanted to be a neurologist. That seemed to be the most difficult, most intriguing, and the most important aspect of medicine, which had links with psychology, aggression, behavior, and human affairs.
I think that is a universal adolescent feeling, trying to find your place. The adolescent who is perfectly adjusted to his environment, I've yet to meet.
I raced supremely well. I felt I was as well fitted to do it as I had ever been, and as perhaps I might ever be. I went climbing three weeks before, because I was feeling fed up with running.
I lived on the top of one hill and the school was at the top of another hill. Nobody ever went to school by car-we didn't have any cars during the war. So that to and from school was itself a training.
I found longer races boring. I found the mile just perfect.
I enjoy singing, and the instruments which truly move me are the horn, the trumpet and the cello.
I couldn't disappoint people. I did not want to fail and exhaust myself, because I was the kind of runner who trained so little that I couldn't race again within another 10 days.
I came from such a simple origin, without any great privilege, and I would say I also wanted to make a mark. It wasn't until I was about 15 that I appeared in a race.
Athletics is a luxury.
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