‘What spirit is man can be…’

I imagine I brought writing and running in with me, as I have loved to do them all my life and it’s never changed, ever…

I was too scared to follow the writing path when I was twenty… I had left school after my A levels and worked for my coach in his very innovative fitness centre… Ahead of his time, he created a space to coach international athletes from a wide variety of  sports, was one of the trail blazers in offering personal training and opened his door for the public every evening…

I learnt so much in that time and my writing then was daily journalling, I kept a hand written diary every single day from the age of 13 until I abandoned the practise at 21…

And I started writing stories when I was 8, investigating yin and yang even back then..

One story in particular was about war… I wrote of the blood shed, the death, the destruction on the field; but that we had only to look up to see the blue sky, the beauty of the white scudding clouds,, the power of the sun…

I wrote of men praying for it all to end; and how some had their prayers answered with an arrow through the heart while some returned home…

And how again the end of the war brought great joy to some families greeting their loved ones, and immense sadness to others who would never see their sons, husbands, fathers again…

I wrote of contrasts then, as I do now… I explored joy and sadness, beauty and confusion, adventure, possibility in my stories (all of which I have lost, and the diaries I threw away!)

I was always asking my mother… “Mummy give me a title to write about…’ And then I was off…

When I was eleven I wrote my first book, Mummy typed it up for me 🙂 It was about our african grey parrot Polly Armstrong…

When I was twenty, I stopped working for my coach and I had a place at Loughborough University… It seemed a natural move… I was an international athlete, it was the Holy Grail for runners and so of course it was the natural route, an English degree with PE ‘subsid’…

And yet, it didn’t feel the route for me… I wanted to write, and I wanted to run… But alone, on my own terms.

And so I took a brave step… I withdrew from my place at Loughborough, I arranged to share a flat with friends in London… I didn’t know how it would work, but I thought perhaps I would earn money as a waitress, and write and run the rest of the time…

And then I panicked… I called UCCA, they let me back into my place at Loughborough and I took the road more travelled…For two terms …! Until I dropped out…

couldn’t have done anything different then… And I made special friends on that path (Hello dear Janet)

Finding my way eventually, even though it was still a challenge… Challenging society, challenging fear, challenging my Dad, my family story, to be free and live out my heart’s calling…

And so this is why it feels in so many ways like my life is just beginning…

Today I woke to another day of running and writing… And meeting a fellow runner Jim…

As he said, in 1983 there were less people running in the London Marathon, and meeting people who have run in that race isn’t a usual thing… Especially meeting them because they are going in the opposite direction around Enfield playing fields… It was my bare feet that were the original talking point, when we bumped into one another last Wednesday morning…

But energetically we must have recognised a fellow marathon runner… Jim is now training to go further, he intends to run ultras, especially since acupuncture is freeing him from pain and he is flying in his running again…

‘Once you get going, it’s like flying….’


Our unconscious mind draws us to relationship more than we know; this is why when we meet a new person, talking in more depth can unravel the connection, the reason, the energy that is resonating and vibrating at the same level…

And, I also noticed another connection… For the first time in ages, my spirit has been casting itself towards running longer and longer… The comrades marathon in south Africa, which went onto ‘my list’ twenty six years ago, and in recent years I removed it… It might be finding its way back there…

So the connection born of a ‘shared marathon’ meeting in an allotment with his black lab Cassandra has opened windows of possible dreaming of ultra running to come….

But then, at the moment my spirit moves from track running to marathons, back to track again and then to Ultras…  🙂

Who knows what and where and when… But I am reminded again of one of my favourite songs by the Waterboys…

And the lyrics I live my life by…

What spirit is man can be…’

Man gets tired
Spirit don’t
Man surrenders
Spirit won’t
Man crawls
Spirit flies
Spirit lives
When man dies

Man seems
Spirit is
Man dreams
The spirit lives
Man is tethered
Spirit free
What spirit
Is man can be