Tomorrow is a long time

You can get the words to this one here They’re relevant.

So, the big adventure my little furry friend and I have been on for nearly six weeks is reaching its end. As I write, two more nights and I expect to be home. Basically just a load of miles to do now, one of which will see me top 3,000 miles since I left home. I’ve been spending increasing amounts of time wondering why I really did it, what it’s achieved, whether it will “change” me, and so on. Just wondering, mind you. No conclusions. I’m not home yet.

This blog is principally about running and racing. Forgive me if it might not have seemed like that for the past few episodes. A nagging thought in the back of my mind since early on has also been that this trip has some similarities with my running. I’ll not stretch the analogy too far, but you’ll get the drift.

Basically, I run because I can. I am very mindful of, and at times driven by, memories of the years when significant back injury meant I couldn’t. I’m in no way trying to make up for lost time, though. My attitude on that point is aptly summed up by the lyrics of a song recorded by the great Nic Jones (words here). Who is to say that, without that injury, which put paid to many years of quite high level performance, I’d still be running?

Not only because I can, but because I choose to. I know many fit people who could, but don’t, by choice. Some have stopped, others never started. Others are just put off by the whole “older athlete” thing. I tackled this head on in a rather well received essay I wrote a couple of years back, called “Heroes of Freaks”, which you can read here .

I could also have gone with the flow of the “running boom” and decided that, although I was a sprinter once, I’ll be a casual marathon runner now. I chose to remain a sprinter, knowing it would never be easy. It never was.

The similarities with my recent travels relate to things like: a) a middle-aged man doing something most would have thought he’d have got out of his system years ago; b) me chosing to do this as a means to at least mark, if not celebrate, my retirement from work, as opposed simply to putting my feet up and lounging back; c) me chosing to make this thing pretty difficult – a photographic assignment, high standard international races, and time in several different mountain areas all thrown into the mix.

As an analogy or parallel with sport, the trip has ticked some boxes, therefore. basically, I chose to do something out of the mainstream, and did it the difficult way.

That’s pretty satisfying, when I put it like that.


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