As someone who has spent the last few years focusing on work rather than the work/life balance we apparently all strive for (does anyone really get it right?), I feel I haven’t participated enough in life. And so, as part of the ‘new me’, I have tried over the past year to do things out of my comfort zone. For example, entering and going on my own to do trail races in different parts of our glorious city. It is quite intimidating heading off to some race in say, Paarl, and running up the Taal monument (as you can imagine, not a pretty sight. Well, the view is, the sight of my red face huffing and puffing isn’t!), not knowing anyone but you soon realize that you’re all in the race together and that for the most part, people are very friendly and even motivating. And afterwards, the high you feel makes it all worthwhile and gives you the motivation to participate (in life) more often.
Taking an active interest in something, no matter what it is, always seems to bring you more than just the actual activity. So you run, that’s great. But speaking to others about it, making new friends, learning new things, seeing locations you might never have ventured to otherwise and motivating each other adds to the whole experience, making it even more rewarding.
Before I digress too much and wax lyrical about the joys of life and actively participating in it (and no, I do not have a drink in my hand), I have to confess right here and now that my participation in my training programme for Paris has been sadly lacking. I am injured. Well, let’s just say, I have a lower back that is making itself well heard. It is agony and has meant that I am now not sure I will be able to ever do a half marathon, let alone a full one! And in Paris!
I was supposed to do the Spur Summer Trail Series race on Tuesday evening with the Gazelle. When she arrived to fetch me, she seemed a little grumpy. Which, for the Gazelle, meant she wasn’t hopping about as per normal. She’s way too sweet to ever really be grumpy (unlike me who can give you grumpy with a capital G, particularly when I am injured!) but she just wasn’t herself. We chatted and decided that the only Spur we felt like seeing was the one that catered to kids and families but that we couldn’t be that bad.
So off we went in defiance to one of our favourite places instead, Constantia Nek. What a beautiful place to be. Even my back seemed to approve. It was just what we needed and was a lesson in turning things around. Part of me (or let’s be honest, most of me!) didn’t want to run at all when I thought about doing the Series but instead of lying on the couch, we did something different that was very inspiring. In fact, I felt so inspired and happy that I felt I could keep on running forever! Which of course I can’t. Because ‘running forever’ right now seems to equal 42k’s. And my chances of doing that feels very, very slim. Although if I use all of these as suggested in Dave Granlund*’s cartoon (and in particular the wind turbine generator and oxygen tank!) I might stand a chance! Fun times ahead!
* Dear Dave, if by any chance you read this, I hope you don’t mind me using your cartoon. Right now I need all the laughs I can get!