Well, I got out for a wee run tonight. I huffed and puffed my way round five kilometres. Yet again, I am back at square one. I’m restarting training for the third time this year as I’ve twice been scuppered by a badly sprained ankle. I’ve also been pretty snowed under with work. In other news, I’ve recently just shorn my very long hair. The hair will be donated for wigs and the shaved head attracted a lot of offers of charitable donations (when I simply mentioned I was planning to do it) so I decided to ask anyone who wished to donate to put it towards my friend George’s fundraising for Breast Cancer Now. If you wish, you can donate here.
A few photos of ankles and hair to hairlessness follow by way of summing up the last three months or so (we won’t go into work stuff):
Lots of hair
Hair for wigs…
Hair in a dropbag
A bit lightheaded
Hers and his baldy bonces!
Lately I’ve been thinking about loss. An anniversary of someone gone too soon has passed, and I’ve borne witness to friends experiencing devastating loss. I wish I could ease their pain, but really all I can do is recognise it and hurt with them.
I was thinking particularly of someone who lost a beloved parent, truly their best friend. There is a gap, a hole, a deep darkness in that person’s life now. In the immediate aftermath, when the grief is raw and palpable, I visualise the griever staring into the dark abyss. They shine all of their love into the darkness where once their love was mirrored and multiplied; in life it shone upon their face and glowed within their heart and soul. Now the dark hole of longing, missing and hurting sucks up the light and love that they faithfully shine into it.
All we can do is shine our love onto them from every other angle that we can; but don’t expect it to reflect back at a time like this. Hope simply that it warms their back or glances upon their cheek, and that it touches them just enough. Enough to keep them going through the dark times – until they find their own way to cope with the aching darkness and eventually redirect the light of their love to find a way forward and a way to remember and honour the one who once reflected and amplified their love so beautifully.
The New Year came in with more of a gentle pfft than a bang; and a stark realisation that everything is a mess. I am a mess, my house, my car, my training, my life – you guessed it, a mess.
It sounds somewhat negative but really it’s more of an epiphany. It’s time I clean up my mess and to do that I have to focus on me. Not entirely, but more. Just a wee bit more than I have been.
That’s about it really, 2016 is going to be different and I’m going to get some of my stuff done.
My name appears on the start list for Glenmore for the third year in a row, only this time there’s a 24 next to it. Shit. Just. Got. Real.
I hadn’t run for over three months. First I was trying to give my injuries a proper chance to heal and then I got hit by a long-lasting virus, which took a good five weeks to shake. I missed it, then I reckoned I wasn’t missing it that much but in reality I was stressed at work and stressed in general. I’ve had a lot more time for armchair activism and shaking my angry wee fist at the world. Don’t get me wrong, the world has certainly deserved some fist shaking and more, but that aside when I reflect back on the past few months I realise that running is definitely not just my hobby but my therapy. No doubt about it, it’s a stress reliever.
I’ve started back now, gently. Firstly I added little sections of jogging into my dog walks – down a hill, between lampposts and that sort of thing. I’ve now gone out for two actual runs. Short runs, 2 and 2.33 miles respectively. It felt awful and it also felt fantastic.
I have a race schedule and a coach for next year; and my biggest challenge to date – 24 hours of running at Glenmore. How I feel right now is fat, unfit, slow, self conscious but also full of hope and anticipation, because I am running again and I love it. I’m getting my happy place back.