I had a realisation on my long run recently. I was running along the trails, rain gently coming down on my face when I had a flash back to cross country at school. Except growing up in England it was probably about 30 degrees colder! I remembered how much fun cross country was. I hated summer sport and athletics. I was slow and nearly always last. I was always asked to do the 1500m. It suited me better as I could plod along in my own time. Nobody else wanted to be out there that long. But cross-country, that was another story. I was in my element. I loved it!
Until I recently moved to Queensland, all of my running and training has been road running. Now I run a lot on trails. I have to confess that due to my type A personality, running on the road puts a lot of (self-induced) stress on me. I am always looking at my Garmin watch and I get caught up in the speed that I am running. It has ended up not being fun anymore. On the trails it is so different. There are hills, there are steep descents, and there are changes of terrain around every corner. It isn’t possible to run at a consistent speed. And I love that. The stress of running to a certain protocol has been thrown out of the window. I am rebelling and loving it. I’m not even looking at my watch, which for those people that know me, will realise that is some achievement.
So running along the trails, listening to the wildlife I realised that we need to reflect back on what we loved as a child and try to reconnect with that. This is what brings joy into our lives. Someone asked me recently if my husband and I cycle together. Generally no I responded. He is a much stronger cyclist than me and to be honest it is no fun for either of us! My husband gets on a bicycle and turns into a 9 year old little boy again. He does wheelies and rides like he was riding with his mate Les, when they were being chased by the park ranger for scrumping (A UK term to describe someone stealing apples from another person’s orchard!!) My husband finds it impossible to ride with me and wait for me to catch up. It’s not that he is being unkind. He just enters this different world.
So what is it that takes you to a different world?
What did you love to do when you were a child?
So many of us as adults have lost that ability to reconnect with ourselves and have fun. Take some time to think back to what you enjoyed (whether it is sport, colouring, baking)-there are so many options. I am sure that you had a favourite hobby as a child. Can you re-ignite this?
Next on the agenda for me is hula-hooping classes. Watch this space!