Need motivation – rise and shine.
Need motivation – rise and shine.
It’s been a while since I’ve been on the road and the best thing about having a break is definitely making the comeback. On the road back to the top, your likely to find that you fall in love with things along the way all over again. Like those cities that you re-visit and everything was just so – maybe because you are on vacation in a far away city but more likely because you had actually taken some time back for yourself.
A work colleague aptly described to me that my running time was “Zen time”. And I guess that he is right – running for me personally is both a social event (god knows women on the run can talk!) and also time away from the stress of the world. From time to time non-running friends have asked me what I think about when I go running? Sometimes it’s everything but a lot of the time once I really get into a run, rather than think about things – I focus more on being present, in the moment.
Being in that moment, in each stride along the trails, hearing the gravel roll under my foot fall and feeling the sun filter through the tree’s – that will always bring me back here for time on my own and time shared with others on my own two feet.
It’s been a while since I have written here about my adventures & light bulb moments on the roadside. I have taken a step back from it in the past few months and focused on adult things like work – tell you what, this is so boring! I’m ready to quit my job and try my hand at joining the circus. Let’s pack a bag and digress. Are you really wondering who would have more fun?
I’ve been running around getting into the worlds most embarrassing moments (of course), why by awkward when you can laugh about it I say. But I’ve missed pack running.
Pack running is where the “chat” is far more important than the distance you might clock up or the direction you are facing when the wind blows west – running is all about the chat. Who want’s to run faster anyway? – we’ve got things to talk about. It’s these conversations that have kept me running over the years, the people I have collected from the asphalt that have allowed me to explore the world from many perspectives, with folks that I would have never met in my ordinary day-to-day life.
Recently I’ve been re-joined on the continent with one of my oldest running pals. Running with someone is really awkwardly like a relationship you never really intended on having. For starters – running around in the dark with someone is the perfect setting to take your deepest darkest secrets and set them free. With this particular friend we’ve grown up running, if you tell anyone – I will have to kill you.
So when we take to the road – we laugh uncontrollably if one of us has mistakenly run out the door with their shirt on backwards or inside-out and for the most part we cut to the chase. I have one of the most upfront relationships with my running pals, because it’s always been that way. Nowhere to hide, sweating & waging battles of truth or dare along the way, naturally this hasn’t always been comfortable: but it has always been true or, ridiculously funny.
As the dawn breaks – irrespective of the city we might find ourselves in (at that moment), one hassles the other to get out of bed for a run. And there’s nothing like old friends to get you to pick up the pace & tell it to you straight, carrying you forward into the light of day.
Thanks for the miles girlfriend.
Ps. I think Africa is a dumb idea – I don’t think we’d ever be able to keep up with the Kenyans.
As people we can get caught up in giving away our energy to worrying about the things that we don’t have, rather than appreciating all that we have.
And when it comes to training there are countless excuses that (if you let them) conveniently pop up – when it’s cold outside, when it’s raining, when it’s Wednesday and you prefer to start on Monday’s. Often we cheat ourselves, putting obstacles in our own path, because we are scared, we don’t feel ready, or lack the confidence to step forward into action.
Today on my run, I was overtaken by a paraplegic cycling. As I observed his efforts powering forward with both his arms moving into the day – I was overwhelmed by a sense that I didn’t have any excuses. Of sound mind and of able body there was little in the way of my path to the things I wanted to achieve, I am so lucky.
Have you ever felt like you are a part of a secret society?
Sometimes running is not about the miles at all. And in fact sometimes on the run, your mind could not be further away from the running. And often going for a run (especially for us gals) is really another excuse, to get our chat on. I know that to those huff and puff newbies out there – being able to talk whilst shuffling seems impossible – but it will happen to you too.
So whilst we might tell ourselves we run to be fitter and faster and fit in more cheesecake, the truth is sometimes we (secretly) run for the chat. And in this modern world where you can tweet, txt, stalk book or email at the last minute that you are missing in action. It’s quite amazing that I still make times to run with my pals and they actually turn up. And after a few minutes on the road the floor is open to discuss anything and everything that comes to mind.
On the road my sneakers will not hide even though nothing is sacred & no taboo topic remains untouched. I could tell you about the myriad of wonderful things I have learnt whilst putting away the miles in a pack of runners before sunrise, but you do know that if I told you, I would have to kill you.
The rule applies that we talk about on the run, stays on the run.
So lace up your sneakers and get your chat on, you know you want to.
Recently a friend has reminded me about first loves and the sunrise – but not in the way that way. Of course instead of romance, I am going to tell you about falling in love with my sneakers on a run in the middle of nowhere.
There was a moment in my illustrious running career of huffing and puffing at the back of the pack – when the i reached the crest of the hill just in time to see the sunrise over the sea. And that’s when I knew it – somewhere inside, trying desperately to find her way was a runner.
Not to run fast, but for the joy.
For those moments in the morning where you are alone with the sunrise, when you don’t have to think or make lists or be anywhere else but in that moment.
It was on the trails in the forest by the ocean at dawn, when I knew I would never run fast – but I would always run. Running gave me moments where I could stop and be in awe of the world, where I could be grateful and where I could feel my heart beat for joy.
I have just spent my evening – watching a documentary that profiles the TT Isle of man race. For those of you who are unfamiliar – this is the toughest, fastest, craziest motorcycle road race in the world.
Once a year men and women line up to compete for the love of racing – risking life and limb, with speeds topping 200 mph, and some still manage to walk away after motorcycle death trap crashes.
And as crazy as it all is – I can glean a small part of the appeal. Sometimes it is a question of motivation vs madness or perhaps both. It seems that there is a certain breed of people who live amongst us that will always explore the edges and push the boundaries and continually defy the “impossible”.
Why is hard to say. Each athlete will have a particular notion that drives them forward. Some operate in a world made entirely out of races, because to stop racing would be like not living.
Which may be hard for outsiders to grasp but it’s true. Without the demands of training, without the desire to do better and run faster and climb mountains.. what else is there???
A mountain is the best viewfinder here = for why do we climb mountains? To reach the top and take in the view from that perspective. For why do we free dive, why do we run ultra marathons through the desert, why to we explore places where you don’t speak a world of the language, why do we line up for 24 hour races in the freezing cold dressed like baby seals preparing for battle > it’s just like the mountains. We do it to reach the finish and take in the view from that perspective.
And the thing with mountains is - once you’ve seen the view from the top.
Life down below on the ground is never the same again.