Pies, purpose & perspective

Posted on August 30, 2012


Yesterday I rose and readied myself to run.  I left my building, switched on my iPod, took a step … then had a swift change of mind and did a 180 degree turn. Returned home. Back to bed. Until lunchtime. In a bad mood.  You see, in the hours prior to the run, I’d been thrown a couple of lemons. Sharp ones. And they’d left a sour taste in my mouth.

When eventually I got up and got on with my day, I went about my work and play continuing to feel a little off beat. And then?  Last night, after viewing the gorgeous sunset, full of stunning hues falling over the twin towers, I told myself it was time to stop sulking, time to make use of my lemons.

So I did. I opened a shiny new three-striped box and out came a brand new pair of cushion response trail shoes ready to be worn in prior to the Sabah Ultra in two weeks time. I then loaded onto my shuffle John Jerome’s magical audiobook, ‘The Elements of Effort’. I wasn’t in the mood for cheesy music or a podcast of the educational variety. Rather I wanted to bask in the wonderful words of a brilliant essayist … someone who has a passion for running combined with a passion for words that flow … someone who I could listen to whilst hearing my own thoughts as I fell into a meditative rhythm. Once I got going, night was fast falling, the city was starting to glisten and I felt totally and utterly at peace. My frustrations dissipated with the sweat oozing from my every pore.

And with my lemons, I decided to accept them with grace and realise that they have a purpose to serve. I’ll use them to make a yum scrum lemon meringue pie topped with ruby-red berries and a drizzle of rich dark chocolate.

I returned home in little over an hour, had dinner in bed whilst watching a movie then fell asleep feeling back to myself.

So thank you … for my ability to see perspective with a single run … to John Jerome for his wondrous wit  … for my new trail shoes for being fabulous from step one … and to my lemons, because without them, I would not be the very person I am today.

As for the book, Jerome narrates a series of running related essays.  Part philosophy, part physiological, part prescriptive and part provocative, there is no book I have enjoyed more for his clear vision, wry writ and profound affection for our sport. He strips the art of running down to the barest of elements and reminds us of its simple joys. I have listened and re-listened and recommend anyone and everyone do same, whether or not you find yourself in receipt of a citrus or two …

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