My interest in running does wane from time to time - especially when I begin to treat it too seriously. So I switch off the timer, and I open my eyes to imagine more. Not worrying about the seconds and minutes ticking away as I gather up more tarmac and muddy lanes really does change the landscape.
Here's what I was thinking about on my last run...
As I finished passing over a disused rail bridge near Welwyn Garden City, on my 5 mile jogging route, the view of some beautiful autumnally orange trees opened up to allow me a glimpse one of the surrounding sun bleached fields to my right. The freshly harvested field puckered up slightly and then dipped into a low valley, before rising again just as harshly and then on into the front of a large copse of trees on top of a hill.
It was like a crown of bronzed foliage resting on a well manicured head of dirty blonde stubble. Quite stunning. I thought - if I was being attacked by a zombie army, then that would be a great place to hold out and sniper their heads off, one by one. Now don't ask why I suddenly come up with that, but my mind decided that I wasn't finished with this fantasy quite yet...
I noticed a tall hedge which led up the side of the valley to the ring of protective trees around the farm house. It formed a secluded path right up to the front door!! A perfectly protected route to attack the house from. If I were a zombie, who had an ounce of sense (zombies from 'I am Legend' probably), then my line of attack would definitely be THAT hedge line.
Damn. I quickly counter imagined another spot to lay in wait, this time parallel to the valley... from there, I can see the zombie hordes protected line of advance.
WHAT HAVE I DONE?! I suddenly realised that I had forgotten the golden rule of zombie hunting. Use close quarters weapons which spread destruction over a wide area! More kills, less ammo. For example a shot gun or a flame-thrower could do very well. Why was I happy laying in wait, in a copse and valley, cutting myself off from my family? They would get over run within minutes, and all because I was too busy trying to be clever.
I realised that I had over thought the problem.
You may be thinking that I either just had a minor stroke whilst I was running, or at the very least, something strange happened to me. Neither are true. This little cameo adventure happened in my head in almost exactly 12 seconds. The time it took me to run past the opening.
In that time I had imagined a world where zombies crawled over rural Hertfordshire, looking for fresh meat. I had imagined that a tree copse was a great look out post and a perfect place lay in wait. From there I could protect my non-existent family who were held up in a farm house I didn't own... I managed to squeeze off a few shot gun rounds in my head too. A mans got to to what a mans got to do. I even had imagined the music I wanted playing as I discovered my family who had been brutally murdered by zombie jerks. Junky Fight by Lias Gerrard, as found on the Layer Cake sound track. Awesome.
Once I passed the opening in the trees and the view changed, I tried to urge myself to bookmark my little adventure for later... I did, and because of it I probably forgot some other incredible adventure that I had day dreamed. It's true, I probably forgot something very important - but I got to fight zombies. Good trade-off. Now... isn't that a great way to spend 35 minutes of your day? During exercise and in particular running, we are all able to think more creatively and with incredible clarity*, this is only ONE of the many advantages to taking up running .
My business is constantly benefiting from my running and my little day dreams. In fact, I decided to quit my job and start my own business off the back of a running adventure, on that same run I imagined what my future may hold. I am still chasing those dreams today. I imagine getting what I want, I imagine what I might do when I have it, I imagine winning, and winning and winning. From time to time, I imagine losing too (as above), but I always imagine a way to use this to my advantage. I do not need to make as many mistakes as others in reality, because I am constantly failing and winning in my imagination. Running is what gives me that priceless advantage.
You cannot afford to miss out on it - trust me.
I have probably lived and died many different lives and existences during my exercise, learning a different lesson from each encounter. And you thought that all I did was run, when I run....
|A snap shot of the copse described above. You can just see the farm house top left.|