A few weeks ago I ran a 50mile ultramarathon in the Lake District. I’m still not 100% certain why. It seemed like a good idea at the time. While I say ‘ran’, I really mean ‘ultrashuffle and walk’ it. Finally feeling recovered, I had an opportunity this weekend to go back to the Lakes and get some running in. I’m not sure how or why it happened, but I ended up navigating us onto a part of the last 15km of the route and running it again while looking at the land I was running through. Rather than staring at my feet, which were sore and swollen hunks of meat attached to tired stumps of bone.
As I was running along, actually running this time, I got thinking about how this was much more fun than when I was trying to do it after 12 hours solid on my feet just because I said I would. Stubborn me. Then I started to think about how some of the trails I rode in the USA during the Tour Divide could actually be great day rides if they hadn’t had a prologue of 3,000km of riding beforehand. Had I missed out something by taking on too much at once? Just following through with what was expected?
It gets worse and is compounded each day, each chance comment from another asking what I’m going to do next. What have I planned? Where are you off to now? Well sometimes, the answer is simple. Nothing. Distinctly nothing. If you want to be slow and look around – that’s ok, it’s good and healthy. It doesn’t have to be followed by the next thing – or the thing after that.
We already live in a world that tries to move us at 100mph every day, fulfilling our duties to society’s norms, doing what is expected of us, promoting ourselves and what we ate for lunch on Instatwitmyface. But is it really worth it? Is it not better to slow down and look at what we just did rather than skipping that phase and moving on to what’s next?
Our lives are not a stream of cats and breakfasts that disappear after 24 hours of existence. They are something to remember, to appreciate, to tell stories about. Something we are rapidly losing sight of.
Beer of the Week
Empire Brewing: Twisted Melon (4.1% ABV)
Very pale beer. Generously hopped with Sorachi Ace, giving this beer a mouth watering lemon and coconut flavour.
Popping into my local to grab a few beers to share with friends over stories and dinner. The label called to me across the room after I’d failed to find what I had planned to drink that night. A warning: you’ll either love it or hate it. I’m always up for a taste test. Moreso when it might go against me.