It takes all sorts..!

I am sitting in ‘The Larder’ coffee shop, waiting for Anadi who is making his way from a meeting in central London…

I have had a wonderful morning which has involved running round and around in circles… A joyous delight for me; as I say at the end of my vlog… ‘It takes all sorts…’!

For me running without restriction in my body, feeling fluent and enjoying the sensation of the wet grass under my feet, the familiar rubber of the track on my soles is how I paint, draw, create a tune…
I remember meeting a professional musician who had been playing in different orchestras and arrangements all of his life…He was 58 years old to my then 48 years… I met him at Heathrow airport in baggage reclaim, when there was a three hour delay before our luggage appeared… He told me how his music was there and then gone… How he would spend months practicing, rehearsing and performing, and then the concert or run of concerts was done, gone, finished, no record… But that was how he liked it…Always making something afresh, new, no attachment to how good the past was, or not so good…  Then he would begin all over again.

And as the years have passed, I have discovered this is the same for me with running…

Today felt creative, powerful… I liked the picture made up of loops and laps, coloured green and red under a grey, streaky sky, only hints of blue…

I had found my way to another track, and then… It was locked… No way in.

There was a groundsman busy with weeds on the central area, but he never lifted his head… And anyway he was a way off from my side of the locked gates, too far to attract his attention…

But the other side of the road to the track was a vast expanse of green, damp grass, all wet from a night of rain; so I didn’t much mind that the track was shut and I lapped the grass instead… Huge fields; a mile and a half to loop the edge. Twice round I ran when I spotted that the door of the track clubhouse was ajar…

On closer investigation I found two men on their knees, locked in Wednesday morning dialogue – scrubbing the floor…

‘Hello’ I said, as I approached… They both looked up, smiley men…

‘Is it possible to use the track?’ I asked… ‘Come on, I’ll let you in…’ One said, getting stiffly off his knees and straightening up slowly…

We walked together to the gate, he unlocked the padlock and let me onto my track…

I had no real plan of what to do, I had had some thoughts this morning that I might run some 1000 metre reps… And so that is exactly what I did…

In my bare feet!

And how my body loved it…

I felt relaxed, fluent and I didn’t run too hard… 5 x 1000m with a 200m jog recovery…
All the while the man who was digging up weeds on the grass in the interior of the track kept digging up weeds; he did not lift his head once. It was like I was a ghost runner who he could not see…

I averaged 4.21 for my intervals… I am a good coach, I know what is possible and probable and so coach Julia said to athlete Julia… ‘I reckon 4.30’s will be what you might expect today… Especially as you haven’t done anything like this for some time, and you are in your bare feet…’

My bare feet snorted at this, at being considered a hindrance…

They know they are setting me free…

 

The Cycle of Life…

Anadi and I have just returned from a liquid lunch!

We set off on an outing to visit the Castle… But after walking up the steep winding hill to the very top, we found we had arrived fifteen minutes after it had closed… Sundays in Spain are very ‘Sunday ish’ indeed…

Not much is open except for the restaurants, where big groups of friends and families can be found, enjoying lots of food and wine together – all afternoon long…

We decided to explore, and so we wandered through the delightful back streets; all narrow and steep, white and terracotta buildings either side of the slopey long steps that lead to more and more winding streets…

After awhile we emerged out into a sunnier street with a small bar…

We intended to have a coffee, but on arriving a Cerveza for Anadi and a Clara (shandy) for me, seemed more in keeping with the day – the ambience – the whole occasion of Sunday in Spain…

The proprietor brought us our drinks and a little plate of freshly cooked sardines… ‘We’ve got to eat them now…’ I smiled, a little reluctantly…

Of course, we didn’t ‘have to’…. But they were brought with such flourish, such generosity and energy of the land, that it felt important to receive them with the reciprocal energy of appreciation… Sardines that look like they could be swimming are not my most favourite, and yet, in the same way as enjoying the fish straight from the sea the other day, once I had squeezed lemon over them, and dived in, they were amazing…

I could feel the freshness and goodness entering my body, the freshness and goodness of feeling free and allowing and receiving whatever to be to be…

The day was flowing with its own flow… !

Beer and sardines in the sun… After three and a half years of Anadi and I working seven days a week, suddenly everything has changed…

My life now has a completely different rhythm, and my days pass in a peaceful ‘writing running swimming in the mediterranean, just being’; sort of a way… And Anadi – now in another stage in his new business – has taken to having weekends off…

I remember reading ages ago that in building anything new, you must be prepared to ‘eat porridge’… By this, the article meant that it would likely take some sort of stretch, sacrifice, leap of faith to keep going – and to be prepared to ‘only eat porridge’ if this is what was needed to reach the goal…

We took the leap, and we still are; creating our lifestyle and finding a way for it to be sustainable as we journey, whilst listening to our inner compasses…

I love it so, this journey, this unfolding, travelling with a fellow soul on the path who is as ‘nuts’ as me…

For his is how, in taking ‘the road less travelled’, we have been described by some… 🙂

And now we have Sundays to spend in a different way than before… And so as we sat with no plan, together, chatting, happy, in the sun… It seemed the natural thing to ‘have another drink…’

As if the lively sardines were not challenge enough, the next plate of tapas was squid in its ink! But I gamely joined in; embracing Spain, the day, the offerings, feeling delighted by my unexpected lunch…

It felt to be the perfect ‘recovery food’ from a track session this morning… As we arrived at La Pista at 9am today, more excitement was abounding; a cycling road race was readying to leave and the cyclists and their bikes were circling around, warming up, music playing… The bright lycra and shiny bikes a dazzling array of colour fun and friendship…

We made our way through the crowd onto my track, empty, just for me to run around and around and around in my bare feet; I ran a session familiar to me from the past… 10 x 300 metres with 100 metre jog between each fast stretch…

How many times have I lapped the track this way…? Unraveling, circling, round and round, shedding as I go all that is not needed, so all that remains is the run; the zen… Where will the next running step lead me?

Everything is a circle; arriving back at the beginning… The day turning to night and then to day again, as we circle the sun again and again and again on planet earth… The birth of a new day, until its the death and then always re birth; the cycle of life in everything we do…

Birth death and re birth…