Train hard; fight is easy…

I was reflecting the other day about my school days… The desks all battered, and bulging with exercise and text books – there was an inkwell in the left hand the corner… And right beside my inkwell, I had stuck a little sticker…

It was a cartoon of a martial artist in a whirl of action… The caption below was ‘train hard; fight is easy’… I liked those words, they worked for me.

In part, this was because I have always been someone who absolutely loves training.

I began a daily exercise routine at just six years old, when I would join my father for this morning squats, press ups and much more… Which he continued to do right until just before his death…

In addition to this, I liked him to accompany me to the playing fields at the weekends… I would get him to time me running the length of them, again and again… In the beginning  it was just because I liked to see what was possible, how fast I could run… Could I run faster…?

At fifteen years old when I started to train in more earnest, this little sticker spoke volumes to me…

It still does…

‘Train hard; fight is easy…’

But… Training hard does not mean pushing hard…

Training hard means applying ourselves consistently progressively and optimally – and loving it!

Last week when I achieved running five days in a row of 25k a day barefoot with relative ease, I recognised that the capacity to do this, has come through training hard for sure…

But that now, the most important thing is… As Chris Finill one of Britain’s top ultra runners, who ran across the United States from the north to the south coast – route 101 – wisely says…

‘Stay out of the red zone…’

He was advised this, before he set off on his epic journey, by someone who had failed in their attempt to cross the states; and it is something I am acutely aware of…

However my innate nature isn’t to push – or to desire to go into the red zone… My nature is definitely to challenge myself and to investigate; to explore to adventure and to see what is possible…

But I certainly far prefer having fun doing so…

As a younger person, I did often push, but this came out of my hurt, my childhood wounding, my pain… I started to push to win approval, to be enough, to be loved.

Of course I learnt – in the end  –  the hard way… Because the push brought break down – always…

And of course, the only way that we can receive love is to love ourselves… As Jesus said ‘Love others AS yourself…’

When we learn to love ourselves, we can become love… And we discover that we naturally love others from this space, and whether we are loved are not becomes unimportant… But of course the paradox is that then love is reflected all around us; from the inside out…

This can of course, be a long road to tread – this road to love.

But in each step we take towards love, the road reveals itself deeper and deeper into our hearts and souls…

And so it was on the running route, as it revealed itself in each step, that I was able to let go of the push and simply enjoy ‘training hard’….

With my body relaxed and in the zone, in the step, in each moment… My soul was set free to fly on land….

Chris said, that he travelled from the North to the South coast of America –  all 2,500kilometres – cautiously….

And I will do the same, from the North coast of Spain to the South coast…

In just over two months we all set off… I say ‘we all’,  because my adventure is now a fiesta; and we are all journeying together from Suances to Almuñécar.

In the same way that we all journey together through this experience of life…

From birth to death…

Treading each step of the way, making the path by walking it….

 

 

 

Run and Cafe philosophique…

I am on the train to Gatwick from Eastbourne…

I have had the richest most fabulous 24 hours… I love and treasure relationship and it has been my lifelong joy – to connect, to engage and to love.

I have less time now than when I lived in England to physically enjoy the connections that were forged through weeks and years of sharing time and experiences… And so when I have 24 hours where I am able to catch up with those I love, it is sacred space to have spent this magic pocket of time …

When I am with someone, there is nothing else… And because I don’t experience time in the way in a linear way exactly; each space is an extension of the ongoing dialogue that was started many years ago…

I have just been dropped off at the station by my friend Haze – we had a wonderful lunch at the Grand – my second home when I go to Eastbourne… Although of course I don’t have a first home!

We have known each other 24 years and there is an implicit trust in our connection, the never ending conversation… Even though we hadn’t seen one another since July, our ‘charlando’ took off like it had never stopped, as if we had just drawn breath for a moment – or taken a sip of coffee – and then on we went.

And yesterday evening I met there with Janey; we have a relationship that is both professional and personal and the contexts for each allow the other to be more expansive, more profound, limitless.

I have always loved to meet in the Grand hotel in Eastbourne as it has privacy within its comfy chairs and secluded corners, discreet and attentive service…. While Janey and I were together a woman approached… ‘Julia’ she said, I didn’t immediately recognise her, but she introduced herself ‘Robin’ and immediately I was back to our encounter ten years ago… We met, because I interviewed her for a podcast. We enjoyed a connected and special two hours…. She follows my exploits now, she said – and our chance meeting delighted us both. I gave her the foot jewels that Wendy had given me, and she said that she would like to write about me…

The serendipity felt wonderful, exciting…

This morning I rose early and was outside at 6.30am to meet my friend Matt to run… We covered ten miles and the time passed in a flash of our continuing dialogue, a friendship built over the past 6 or 7 years; the dialogue never ending… There may be what we perceive as pauses, but time does not exist and love is infinite and all encompassing…

There is no limit to love, or time – and so the dialogues are all existing on different threads and the more present we are to ourselves, connected to our core – our truth – then there is limitless capacity for love and relationship.

True love is infinite, eternal never ending… It never disconnects, judges, is jealous or unkind… It simply keeps growing and growing, expanding as the time and relationships expand and grow…

After breakfast I walked barefoot through the town, a little chilly, but still enjoyable. A man stopped me to give me a warning about the dangers of not wearing shoes. I listened to him, and thanked him – but his words didn’t resonate with my feet. They have another way and it is their way I follow…

My friend Jim was parking his bike outside Urban ground coffee shop – our ‘coffee crawl’ started there and finished in Beanzz… There was a time when Jim and I spent 12 hours a week together…

All of it running! Training for ultras… ‘I wish we had recorded our conversations’, Jim mused today…

But they are carrying on… We pick up where we left off because of the sharing we had then, the understanding, the exploration; the stage is already set to talk some more…

Café philosophique instead of run philosphique! Although we agreed today there is more running yet to be done…