Get high on scenery

Posted on January 6, 2011

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When browsing a running site the other day, I came across a guy called Andrew, a doctor from Aberdeen, Scotland who is currently running an epic 3,000 miles from Scotland to the Sahara in 85 days.*

Needless to say, this is an incredible feat and I couldn’t help but feel utterly inspired by his challenge.  I emailed him … we then chatted online about our shared passion for running and I did a little research.  One article quoted Andrew saying the following:

“It might seem odd but I also use these challenges to do some sightseeing. The views are unbelievable.”

And there my eyes were fixed as this is exactly what I say, all the time.  The enjoyment I get from snow-capped mountains, fast-flowing rivers and lush green fields cannot be conveyed in words.  The buzz and excitement that follows me when I experience the sights, sounds and smells of a city are unbeaten. I regularly pick marathons on the back of cities I have yet to discover and my favourite part of any holiday is getting up at the crack of dawn, before a stir from a peep, and exploring new streets and watching an unearthed city come to life in its own vibrant and eccentric way.

How then you may wonder, do I manage to run, and maintain a love for running, in Dubai; home of the sandpit, construction site and freeway … a city where street life is a foreign language.

Admittedly, after trips overseas, it always takes a few days to get back into the swing but once there, I simply find my own way of embracing the scenery.

After all, everything boils down to attitude does it not?

And my way is this … I am an avid fan of houses, a certified interior designer, and I am passionate about making houses into homes. So when running in Dubai, if not with girlfriends, and therefore otherwise occupied in deep discussions about life, love and everything in between, I design houses. In my head of course. I run around Emirates Hills, peer through golden gates and beyond the hot shot wheels and imagine the walls inside and how I would decorate each room.  This can keep me entertained for at least an hour, two or more. (This also explains fyi why when friends drive past me, I don’t notice them due to my being securely locked in Tori world!)

So I guess the point of today’s post is that running is a truly fabulous way to discover the world, soak up the scenery and embrace a place … regardless of where you are … and if not in the most exciting of backdrops, don’t let this stop you – just let the mind go and your imagination run riot.  It’s fun, it’s playful, it’s escapism … and it’ll have you bounding home with heaps of energy and endless enthusiasm when you’re done.

Happy running!

* Andy is raising money for Mongolian Poverty Charity, The Yamaa Trust. Please see www.scotland2sahara.com for more details.

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