Tag Archives: owl and the cragrat

Why do you run/walk/swim/climb ? How do you motivate yourself ?

Shortly after I got my bike through the cycle to work scheme my brother was inspired to do the same… and whereas my cycling came to a shuddering stop when the local office was closed he kept going…

When I started again he gave me some advice..to time myself; because half the fun is from trying to beat your personal best…

I mentioned this to a friend in our Reading office, this friend Will, is Mr Bike as far as I am concerned. This is a man who cycles to work most days (from Newbury), thinks nothing of getting on his bike to visit his parents in Derbyshire, was delighted to attend a trial in Luton as he could have the fun of cycling back over the Chilterns and a couple of years ago took 2 weeks off work to raise money cycling Lands End to John o Groats

He disagreed. He said it is not about challenging yourself. It’s about the journey. About enjoying the things around you that you miss when whizzing along in a car. Slow down and listen to the grass grow.

I think I may be closer to Will’s philosophy than my brother…the ride of failure on Tuesday was vastly improved by the sight of a fox trotting across the road in front of me as I panted and pushed my sorry way home.  The second time I was out I think I was happier by the fact I’d seen a fox cub, something small yellow and feathery possibly a yellowhammer and a heron all in one ride rather than the fact that I’d knocked 5 minutes off my previous time (not had such an improvement since though… but there has been plenty of good wildlife).

It’s not confined to cycling however, you can see it in most sports. Back when I used to climb (when the Man and I first met and before the Boy) you could divide the climbing community between those who were happy to push the E numbers and had their own Gym/climbing wall in the garage and the happy thuggers like myself and the Man whose idea of a good time was slugging our way to the top of a vaguely interesting bit of rock followed by a picnic in the sunshine with the rest of the group.

BUT… I’m not sure that this is reflected in sport literature. Climbing, Swimming and Cycling all have inspirational books about how someone took on the odds, pushed their own envelopes and improved their performance but there doesn’t seem to be much about the flabby majority of us (apart perhaps from the Ascent of Rum Doodle or the Owl and the Cragrat)…except in running literature

Which is why although I am unlikely to put Run Fat Bitch Run into practice I am reading it for motivation along with “It’s only 4 times round the village” and “Running Like a Girl”

Tonight’s ride is the standard 4 mile circuit I started with, complete with the need to open two gates…the penalty for quite country roads is that some of them are Gated…

Then home to pack

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