In a garden as in life

IMG_4839I walked in my garden yesterday. I noticed some early spring buds pushing through.

A tree grows a millimetre at a time. A leaf unfolds little by little. A great gardener trims a little here, a little there. All relative to what is in front of him. He deals with reality. Takes an action then steps back and observes the effect before deciding on the next step. To do it any other way would result in a mess.

We however set lofty goals. Goals that stretch us. (remember the slogan “If a goal does not scare you then it is not worth having as a goal” or something like that). Often these goals are just out of reach, just that little bit too far. We tell ourselves that this is cool. Certainly our friends applaud us for this.

We become over committed publically and personally, (sometimes financially even) and hence we resort to shortcuts. Take running races for example. We overtrain because race day is just around the corner. We take pain killers because we are not up to the task.

Is it not better to look at what is and consider the next step, whatever that may be.

Thanks to James Clear for your inspiration here

Wendy

You sat in the middle of the room. Surrounded by people. A guru to us all. Many considered you a dear friend. Wrapped in your blanket on this sunny day. There were too many. I stood outside. I felt something was wrong. Only got to touch your shoulder as you sat there princess like. All the fuss going on a round you for your 70th. It was a Saturday.

Later when all the cake had gone a handful stood around.

You got up from your room. The birds were calling you, you said.

And then you were gone. I heard the news on Monday. There would be no class, no follow on. No weekly gathering. Everything had changed. You were the glue to the whole gathering of a week  ago. And now the glue was gone.

I danced with the bears when they scattered you in Tokai.

I thank you for shining the light.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

Choices

GPSI stop at the cross roads. My GPS tells me right but I am not sure. I think it is left.

I have a choice. In fact I have many choices. Right, left or in fact do I stay among the traffic and hooting and chaos? They are all my choice. Even if I don’t choose.

If we choose to be healthy, eat the right stuff, train correctly we make that choice. And there are consequences like good performances and PB’s, there are other consequences we downplay like not drinking before a big race, taper nerves, exhaustion etc. We know them too well.

Then there are those that we do not talk about. We may not choose them directly (we can debate that) but our choices certainly have these consequences.

We can’t just choose the good and take credit for that and when something does not work out the way it is intended then throw our toys.

I asked the question why we choose injury. An honest question not meant to be anything but.

Maybe it is better to ask why we made the choices that resulted in this outcome. Harsh? Possibly but it is a question worth asking. Why do we choose injury, over training, sickness?

Is it because we are writing cheques that our body can not cash? Are we possibly even writing cheques our being can not cash?

What if this were true?

What if we’re ignoring the message?

Are you going on a path that is not right for you? Even if you are following your mates or advice of those who say they know.

And if it is not right then what is?

Underneath each statement there is ultimately a question.

Go and ask better questions!

“When is enough, enough?” Ian asked

I close my eyes in the crowd, in that town square, in that time. Vangelis is playing – Chamonix town square at the start of UTMB

I can still feel the tears now, many years later.

The point of life is to grow and to have fun. If you can have fun while growing then all the better.

So we need to push and do bigger, and better, and further, and more dangerous, and push the boats further from shore…

Or do we?

We confuse doing with growing.

Doing is busy, doing is filling our day.

Growth is deeper.

Growth stays with you, doing does not. This is the acid test.

Growing is internal. You probably have nothing to show for it, nothing to tweet about.

Only you will know the difference.

So when you tackle your next adventure is it to grow or to do?

 

I am …(a runner)

desertWe all define our selves with what we do and the more we do so others define us in the same way.

Take those brackets away and what are you?

What are you left with?

We all wear hats in our lives. Those hats represent the roles in our lives. Different hats in different situations. In relation to other people. We are husbands, friends, colleagues, friends, lovers, sons, daughters and runners.

So what happens when a storm or sudden gust of wind tears the hat from our head?

What happens when we get injured?

Who are you?

What hat are you wearing now?

Paradise Lost is Ana Frosty’s journey through that question.

Kiss or Kill is far less gentle question.

Ultimately you need to work out how to put down new foundations.

Sometimes a new role can help. Often caring for another helps us heal. Eric & Peety’s story is one such example.

Maybe we need community more than the finish time to define us.

This community needs to support each of us, not only as a runner, not what races we have run or times recorded but in who we really are when we are not wearing a hat.

Let’s create and foster that community, for others, for ourselves!