Sunday, May 20, 2007


Yesterday's 13.36km effort caught up with me today, and my quads are aching. A knot has formed in my right hamstring. I woke overnight to hear rain falling outside, and regretted trusting the weather forecast when it said that rain wouldn't fall until tonight. Three loads of washing hung on the line.

Come morning the rain had stopped, but a fearsome Northerly was shaking the house and dawn seemed slow to arrive. I slept until 8.30, which is unheard of. Tad Williams' "Tailchaser's Song", and Hamish's pancakes (with maple syrup and lemon curd) kept me in bed until late. It wasn't until after 1.00 that I worked up the motivation to change into my running gear and to head out into the wind.

My training goal for the day was straightforward - an easy 20 minutes. Leaving from home there is nowhere to run that doesn't involve hills. I ran up and down our flat street for five minutes, then it was uphill to the Ridgeway, a gradual incline, and a roller-coaster run for a kilometre or so before I could turn back towards home.

At one point the wind swept me sideways, catching my legs so that one foot kicked the other calf. I winced, but braced myself and kept the forward momentum. The aim today was simply to move. This was not about speed, despite the 30 second sprint I forced myself into as I turned back into our street. This was about getting out there and sticking to the plan.

Something has been bothering me for the last few days, and I think I've finally figured out how to put it into words. Some people I know, or whose blogs I read, describe themselves as seekers. I understand the sentiment, and I would once have claimed that identity for myself. However, as I was running my 13.36km on Saturday it occurred to me that I wouldn't call myself a seeker any longer. I found myself when I found running. I'm not a seeker, I'm a finder. There's no part of me that is missing, or that I need to do away with. There is only me, discovering more about myself every time I hit the pavement.

I'm not trying to say that I'm perfect, that I'm completely happy with myself, or that I feel I have nothing more to achieve. It's more that I know I have everything here, within myself, that I need to succeed. I'm not so much into talking about my perceived problems or weaknesses right now. I'm more into doing.

This is me, and I like this me.

The wind is still blowing outside. From my seat on the sofa in the bay window I can feel the house shuddering from time to time, and the trees down the side of the house can be heard thrashing around. I had to come to this place to witness a city reduced to nature's purest elements. I had to come to this place to find myself exposed to my own basic essence. Here in this city I have finally found the freedom to breathe.

NB: Thanks to the occasional emailer/blog lurker. You inspired this train of thought all those drunken months ago, and you know who you are!

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