Chapter 8: When we’re too busy to notice.

I’ve discovered that the speed in which we live our daily lives can leave us blinkered. It starts the moment we wake, from getting the kids to school, the daily commute to work, through to the supermarket run. We are living with such purpose that we don’t notice the beauty around us.

I’ll give you an example.

I have lived in the same village for 15 years. Prior to that I lived in the next village; the village where I gleefully high 5 the village welcome sign. My weeks are chaotic and often I have no inclination to put the old trainers on.

Regardless, knowing I had to get out there, one Saturday morning I got up, put my trainers on and I reluctantly went. I hadn’t planned a route and in all honesty was more than likely going to run my usual boring b-road route. But for some reason that morning my legs decided otherwise. They took me to the local nature reserve.

Usually when I go there, I’m with the kids. Part of me is making sure they don’t fall off their bikes or run into the lake, the other part is dealing with their moans and pleas to go home. I never notice my surroundings.

The nature reserve is a whopping half mile from home. It was early morning. I was running alone with just my thoughts for company. My spectators that morning were swans, geese and ducks. I’d run round the corner and rabbits would be on watch before disappearing down their burrows. It was beautiful, idyllic & peaceful. Perfect in fact.

But can you believe this, I got lost. Yes that’s right, I’m just half a mile from my 15 year long home and I’m lost! Not horrendously, but enough not to know which way to go to get home. I had to check the display board map for directions. It’s laugh worthy really. But despite that I loved every minute of it. My blinkers had made me forget the beauty of my local surroundings. I realised I’d forgotten why we chose to live there.

I didn’t do overly well that day. My aspiration of reaching the 5k non-stop mark was hampered by being out of breath, checking maps and embarrasing wardrobe malfunctions, but despite that, I loved it. I may still run reluctantly but if nothing else, running has made me re-appreciate what we have. It’s made me appreciate my freedom, my health and the beauty around me. I would never have got that sat in front of the TV or doing the supermarket shop.

So dearest readers, I set you a challenge. Next time you’re out on a gentle recreational run, take notice to see if you’re focusing more on your watch, your time and your speed than your surroundings. If it’s possible, slow it down and take in your view from a different lens and enjoy.

From, on this occasion, a less of a reluctant runner.

Next stop, the race!

To be continued.

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