Thursday, 13 September 2012

After a While You Realise, Time Flies...

Doesn't it just?!? In every way. It flies by as life happens around us. The months fly by, the seasons fly by and, I increasingly find as I get older, the years fly by as well.

In seems only a few days ago that I was welcoming in the first shoots of spring, bringing new life to the wood, bursting forth in a panoply of colours and promising a summer of warmth and contentment.

There were plans set (I just read back!), there were ideas forming, there was a renewed energy that mirrored the changing seasons.

And yet, all of a sudden, autumn is pretty much upon us. A sudden drop in temperature these last few days, combined with a deluge from the heavens, has seen the flowers retreat to safety and the ferns, nettles and bushes take on a brown tinge and a feeling of rot and autumnal decay.

So what of the summer? Well, in the end, the plans for running went nowhere.....and, interestingly, I can't say I'm too worried. We had some great days out in the mountains, we enjoyed some shorter trots and plods on more local hills and in the woods and, if truth is told, I didn't miss competition at all.

One of my "target" races came along in early September but, halfway up the Ben, in a procession of runners, with no view other than the shorts of the person in front, and the promise of a battering from the weather higher up on a day where it made little sense to be on the tallest mountain in Britain....I stopped and turned back! Turned back happy with my decision to defer going up the Ben for another day.

I think, finally, after 2 years, I'm coming to terms with the reality of post-Bob Graham life for me. And that reality is that I don't feel a need to push and compete in races particularly any more. I'm much more inclined to be looking at new places to explore, paths to follow, adventures to be had....and for those adventures to be taken at a pace which suits me on the day. Some days I'll be quick, some days I might want to stop and take in views, stop and rest awhile behind a summit shelter and enjoy the beauty and wilderness around me.

It's taken me a while to get here. I'm not sure why I'm surprised at the end result. I came from a hillwalking background, where it was all about the enjoyment of being out there rather than speed. And, I always saw the BG as the ultimate achievement for someone of limited ability like myself. There's nothing more to prove, I did what I set out to do and I loved it.

Of course, that doesn't preclude me doing similar things, or indeed doing races, in the future. It's just that they will be done on my terms and if I find I fancy them, not because I feel I should.

So what else has been happening besides these seismic shifts in my running psyche?

Well, firstly and most importantly, we're on the move again. After a brief period of soul-searching as to whether we wanted to move south, we both came to the conclusion that we didn't and that here is where we want to be, immersed in a different pace of life and surrounded by people with a different attitude and sense of adventure.

So, with Kirsten having waited for a job in Adoption & Fostering to come up, one finally did. She interviewed well, as always, and got offered the job same day! The only thing is, it's based in Fort William! And covers most of the west, as far north as!

So we're leaving our "fairytale" home, something which has taken me a lot of getting used to, and about which I've indulged in a fair few sulks! We've found somewhere lovely to stay though, if not quite the same sort of house. It's over the loch from Fort William, and our house looks out onto the shoreline, with a corbett rising straight from the back. Plenty to enjoy there, and early forays into the woodlands and along the shore suggest there will be plenty to marvel at.

In other news, we got ourselves a second dog, a 3 year-old collie who comes running with us and who has thoroughly enjoyed evenings plunging off the side of Ben Wyvis and trotting along deer trods and through thick heather and bogs. He's a great lad, gets on fine with Rufus (and vice-versa) and is a smashing companion for what would have been solo runs. We're building him up slowly, but in time I hope he'll join me on some of those nice, long, relaxed runs I talked about above.

So.......another move to prepare for, many new places to explore and, as always, an excitement about what life has to offer. Can't be bad!

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