Run No. 3 – Tales from the far side


Total time : 48’ 50” Total distance : Farther than I intended

Run out to Watermead Country Park and around King Lear Lake.

Having left the house at 0650, the place was very quiet. The sun was shining. I was running as an act of worship and gratitude before my God.

Glad to be alive, glad to be the wrong side of 50 and yet still blessed with health and strength to run for 50 minutes without stopping, glad to live in staggering distance of such a beautiful place to enjoy.

In a word, I was feeling ‘chipper’.

As I ran around King Lear Lake my mood was darkened somewhat as I recognized a place as one I had already ran past once. Yes, I had accidently embarked on a second loop of the lake. The lake being not inconsequential in size this was somewhat perturbing. However I am not a man who easily turns back having put his hand to the plough, so to speak.

So I dug in and continued my second periple.

By this point I was totally confused about where I had originally started my circuit of the lake and in my discombobulated state ended up following the first signpost I saw that indicated Birstall. This brought me, by a somewhat circuitous route, back home.

People sometimes think that when I describe my running state as one in which I am on the knife-edge of sheer physical collapse that I am exaggerating for comedic effect. This is plainly not the case. In its oxygen starved state my brain can only support basic vital functions, higher level processing such as orientation remains at only a vestigial level.

Fitness 2, Direction Nil

And the morale of this tale? Well in the humdrum, merry-go-round of life we can be so busy just putting one foot in front of the other, that sometimes we lose all sense of direction. Sometimes we may think we’re advancing, but in actual fact we are just going around in circles.

In the grand scheme of life it is not the distance run, but the distance travelled that counts. And that requires not only movement but direction.

In the run of life it times when we stand back, look at where we are, think about where we want to be, these times are vitally important. But they don’t happen by themselves, or by accident.

These times of spiritual self-assessment are vital for a successful run of life.

To run well, sometimes you need to stand still.