It’s wet, it’s wild and we’re back into racing. South Australia held their first running race since the change-up of life that COVID-19 so wonderfully handed us. I’m grateful to be in a country and state that has managed the outbreak so well. To see so many runners back out competing is a wonderful sight. Not only is it great to see large groups of people back together but it also great knowing that the people racing are doing something they love. For so many athletes, it has been an odd sensation to train without any definite race on the horizon. Throughout this time my goals have been focused around building processes rather than running times along with the goal of becoming stronger by utilizing the facilities I have accessible to me.
PLACES, PROJECTS… PEOPLE.
If I was to look back over my last three years and reflect on the underlying or quiet themes of my life; “Places, projects and people” would be the trio of words that spring to mind. In 2018, I was focused on seeing as much of the world as possible. I wanted to immerse myself in new countries and cultures, as deeply and as frequently as possible. 2019 looked a little different, I became more focused on projects. These projects came in the form of events, fundraising, environmental efforts, and extended creative pursuits. 2020 has held space for the pursuit of places and projects through my adventures in the USA, running calendar club, hosting the Relief Run, and much more. With everything happening in the world and the eco-system of my life, there has been a shift of focus onto people. The opportunity to be around more people on a consistent basis has allowed me to develop and nurture relationships on levels I haven’t been able to previously. Whilst travelling, my life is transient. I move around, sleep in different beds, and wake up in different towns and countries often. The ability to build strong relationships is a sacrifice that comes with living life on the move.
This week, I felt nourished by the conversations I was able to have with the people around me. One conversation, in particular, had a big impact on me. It was with a friend who has lived a very similar life to me over the past few years. He has travelled intensely, worked with brands, tourism boards, and adventured hard. Like me, his work had been impacted. With one of our main sources of opportunity and work being travel, our lives have both looked and functioned differently. I enjoyed being able to sit down with him to talk out our feelings, ‘comedowns’, realizations, and thought processes as we’ve learned to adapt and deal with the situation life handed us. I left the cafe feeling lighter knowing that there was someone else wearing similar shoes to me who understood the emotions I had been feeling over the previous weeks. Although travelling to new places and working on projects make up a considerable part of life, genuine human connection will always remain at the top of my hierarchy of needs.
As I mentioned above, racing resumed back in South Australia this week. I participated in the 4km cross country race held at Victoria Park. It was put on by Athletics SA as part of the winter season. Since completing the calendar club challenge, I’ve been focusing more on ‘speed work’. Opposed to jogging for 90% of my running volume, I have been incorporating ‘sessions’ into my program. This means I am running at a higher intensity and training different energy systems. It’s been challenging but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the variety. I find it a lot harder as the sessions are generally quite uncomfortable, but it’s the changeup that I needed.
Anyway… the race. It was tough, a lot tougher than I expected. From the very start, I went out quickly and shortly after felt rather uncomfortable. I wasn’t used to the soft footing or the strength required to run through mud and swamp-like terrain. Prior to the race start, it poured down with heavy rain which really made the ground damp. I never ‘settled’ during the race and found it grueling throughout the entirety of time I was running. Fortunately, unlike some of the other races, I did this time last year, it’s all over and done within 12 minutes. I finished 18th out of a field of approximately 80. For my first race back, I think there are many positives I can take away from it. I look forward to doing more of the cross country racing as I believe it will make me a stronger athlete and better competitor.
Calendar Club Episode #1 Launch.
On Sunday night, Declan Hartley-Brown and I launched the first episode of our Calendar Club series. Throughout the Calendar Club challenge which I completed in April, Declan joined me for the last 7 days. Since then, he has been working on editing, cutting, and producing the footage. Let me tell you… IT WAS WORTH THE WAIT. If you haven’t seen it, you can click through and watch it below. I’m so proud of Declan and what he has created.
I’ll catch you next week.
P.S – Here’s my quote of the day.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor E. Frankl