For this weeks chosen club member we are joined by the man who has one of the best sense of humours in the club (admin says: well ok so maybe it’s a question of taste). He is the father to the only junior in our club and that being Henry Miller so I have no idea where Henry get’s his speed from. If you ever get sat with Michael at any of the Arena socials you just know it won’t be a boring conversation or a boring evening with him. His one aim in life is to make sure he can beat his wife at parkrun every Saturday morning and by the way Sue is progressing, well it might not be that long coming. It’s time to meet the man himself and so I give you one Mr Michael Miller.
Name: Michael ‘Windy’ Miller
1. When and why did you join Arena:
I joined around 12 years ago mainly in the hope that with sufficient motivation I might be able to postpone the day my wife Sue would surely overtake me. So far so good.
2. How long have you been running:
Since I was 16 off and on but Arena was the first generous enough to accept me as a member.
3. Where did you grow up:
After a nomadic life in an Army family we settled briefly in South Wales before being tempted by the allure of a little West Midlands town called Birmingham, famous for at the time for Trevor Francis and the fine ability of the resident population to speak a language that was even more obscure and incomprehensible than Welsh.
4. If you could visit any country in the world, where would you go:
One day in the not too distant future I hope to stop working, buy a camper van and enjoy a long slow tour round Scandinavia and all those cold countries that never appealed in the days when blistering heat was the only prereq for any holiday.
5. Apart from running what else do you do with your time:
I sail, I keep a small (but perfectly formed and seriously racy) ‘J80′ 8 metre sailboat in the Marina which we race most Sundays and Wednesdays during the warmer months.
6. What would you say to your younger self:
Never read ‘The Magus’. Either it is pretentious nonsense or you just do not have the intellect to appreciate it.
7. If you could go back to an age in your life what age would it be and why:
Without question the years I spent at Loughborough University enjoying everything that University life had to offer whilst failing dismally to do any of the work required. Loads of sport, some great bands plus a wild and care free social life. Bliss.
8. What’s your favourite website:
Pornhub.com (Well if Oliver Reed can have a sex doll on Desert Island Disks…………)
9. Who is your sporting hero:
Has to be the first Englishman to run a sub 4-minute mile. Yes you got it, ‘Jim Parrott ‘ who ran a sub 4 mile way back in 1770 in Shoreditch London for a 5 Guinee wager. Check him out on google.
10. What is your favourite album ever:
Can only be the late great Leonard Coen, just about any album would do but if forced to choose I would go for ‘Ten New Songs’. Deeply moving stuff with the occasional hint of a tune.
11. Have you ever met anyone famous or remotely famous:
During my miss spent University days I managed to meet Margret Thatcher whilst on my way to the anti-Margret Thatcher protest. I would like to say I told her what I thought of the ‘Tory Oppression of the Proletariat’, I did not. I crumbled totally. Sorry Lenin.
12. What makes you happy:
The moment after any outdoor event when you are cold, exhausted, totally wasted and you finally get to sit down somewhere deliciously warm to enjoy a hot meal and massive mug of tea.
All those telly chefs trying to conjure up exiting recipes might do better by sticking to pie and mash and recommending a quick 20 miles in the cold rain before consumption. Beats truffles any day.
13. If you could do one thing again what would It be:
Work in Harrods Foodhall
Definitely the most fun job I ever had. You could pretend to be fishmonger one day a butcher the next (you even got to wear the gear, how cool is that!) and occasionally a cheese ‘expert’ serving on the counter offering 500 different cheeses where customers would ask for recommendations on cheeses to go with foods I had never heard of. My answer to most questions was ‘cheddar’.
14. What’s something you miss the most from your childhood:
The certain knowledge that the best is yet to come.
15. What’s something we don’t know about you:
I once sailed an embarrassingly small Yacht round the world, including a mostly single handed from Australia to UK.
16. What’s the one thing you can’t live without:
Easy one. Beer and Banter. And not just one please.
17. What is the hardest thing you ever had to do:
My chocolate loving wife Sue and I once had a bet to see who could go longest without eating chocolate. Victory was mine after 2 very long years of abstinence.
18. What makes me laugh:
Men, and sorry it is men, who believe that a sports car makes you sporty. Sorry boys it does not.
19. What were you like at school:
A boringly normal, and instantly forgettable child with no real talent but a naive confidence that life would somehow work out fine, which it did.
20. What one thing can you not bring yourself to throw away:
The sextant that helped me navigate my way around the world. It has occupied a prime on my bedside table since I returned home, a constant reminder of a previous life.
Our biggest thanks to Michael for his Q&A’s this week and we hope that you feel that you have now got to know Michael a little better. Check back next Wednesday for another set of Q&A’s with our chosen club member.