Have you ever had the feeling that you need an adventure. Something different. Something new? That’s where I’m at these days. The etymology of the word ‘adventure’ is in the latin word ‘advenire’ which means ‘arrive’. It’s quite serendipitous, then that this is, in fact, the season of Advent. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Christian festival or season of Advent, we are currently in it. Advent is the four weeks before the Christmas season. It marks the start of the Christian church’s calendar year. It’s a time, not only of waiting in anticipation for the birth of the Christ, but also a time of preparation. Of cleaning out one’s cupboards or renewal of spiritual life also in preparation for the arrival of the Messiah.
And it’s funny that at this particular time in my life, I find my spirit in a great deal of turmoil. Not only my spirit, but my emotions, my body, my house, everything is pretty much in a state of turmoil and in desperate need of a renewal or cleaning out. And there seems to be so much turmoil that I’m often paralysed by tears and a sheer feeling of hopelessness. Not hopelessness, but rather powerlessness or just feeling overwhelmed by the magnitude of the “cleaning out” that is required.
So where to start? Should I paint the roof? The roof of my house is in desperate need of an adventure with a new colour. And the gutters…oh don’t even talk to me about the gutters? And there’s that damp that’s appearing around the shower. I swear, a house is a just a relentless Bermuda Triangle of money from the moment you buy the bloody thing. And contractors? Can you trust any of them? I hear such horror stories about building and I’ve had such disgusting experiences myself with contractors for house stuff. I don’t think I can face dealing with that.
I know that there are several relationships in my life at the moment that are, how should I say this? They’re not what they used to be. Or maybe they are what they used to be and now I’ve changed and so they don’t feed me any more. I have a few relationships right now where the return on emotional investment is a negative. And it’s not the other people’s faults. It’s me. Finishing Comrades really changed me. Being part of the Run Like a Girl Team (more about that when Paula gives me the photos) really changed me. And so it stands to reason that I am not the same person any more and unfortunately, my expectations in relationships have changed. The difficult part about making changes in these relationships is that I don’t know any hideous people. I only know nice people. So ending or stepping away from these relationships may hurt nice people that I really do care about. So I just don’t think I can start there.
My youngest son just moved back home with me, having gone through some pretty big personal changes himself recently. And it’s wonderful to have him back home where I can take care of him and give him the love and direction I so often felt I didn’t have enough time to give to him before he moved out the first time. And although it’s wonderful to have him back home, he came with stuff and that stuff has now taken over where my stuff was, and my stuff has been dumped, quite unceremoniously, into the study. The study, which was already on the precipice of requiring an advent even before the unceremonious dumping took place. So I could start there, but the study is boring and dark and far away from the radio and I know it would require unpacking and repacking so many cupboards which will take days to finish. Oh! That’s not a good place to start.
I’m looking for an adventure here, not a magistrate court’s sentence.
I suppose, the one place I could start, the place which will provide the quickest and largest return on investment, is my running. You haven’t heard from me in ages because I’ve pretty much been injured since September. Mostly because I’ve been an idiot and broken rules and done stupid things and eaten too much junk and slept late and drunk too much vodka and not done the exercises I should be doing and not replacing my shoes in time. The flagellation could go on, but you get the idea. I’ve let my running go. So, although I have continued going to track and pitched up at morning runs ocassionally, I haven’t run more than 10kms in the last two months. I’ve been so depressed about my being relegated to my pre-Comrades state that I’ve cried on almost every run I’ve done. Or I’ve just greeted everyone with stony silence or feigned a grimace. Fuck, I’ve been awful! So what will an Advent of running look like? Well, for starters, I’ll recommit. Did I just say that? Commit? It’s one of the few relationships that gives me as much as I give it so I think it’s a good relationship to maintain and work at. But I’m looking for an adventure, right? So here’s what I’ll do. Ultimately, I want to run back-to-back Comrades Marathons. So everything has to be geared to achieving that. But I’ll be damned if I’m going to get on the same conveyor belt as last year and do what everyone else does every fucking year to prepare for Comrades. I’m going to have an adventure, damnit! I’m going to do fun things which help me achieve my goals and still give me memorable experiences.
I’m going to eat properly, but not my usual properly. I’m going to get fun recipes and subject my friends to them. Recipes which are healthy and nutritious and built for feeding a Comrades Marathoner, but which also satisy normal people. I will pray on my runs again. Not pray as in, “Oh God, don’t let my legs give up!” Real prayers again. Conversations like I had before I ran Comrades. Running provided me with such beautiful meditation and now I fill MY running with people and there’s no space for prayer any more. I’ll pray more. Sia says “You’re never fully dressed without a smile.” So I promise to pitch up at runs fully dressed from now on. (But seriously, click on that link above. It will make your day better.)
One adventure at a time. Often my friends come to me and everything in their life has gone for a ball of shit. I always tell them to choose one thing and fix that and let the rest of the stuff be shitty for the time being. So I’m going to take my own wise advice and I’m going to fix my running. The roof painting can wait. The study can wait. The relationships can take a back seat for now. Come January, I won’t have time for them anyway because I’ll be fully entrenched in my running advent….ure.
I wish you all much love and much rebirth in this season of Advent.
Yours in the spirit of running.