there’s something about a fire, be it a reasonably sized camp fire, or a huge bonfire. it brings out primal instincts and stirs up ancestral memories. it just feels right, to sit in front of the fire, outdoors, and just… well, just BE.
that’s how I spent Saturday evening – in the company of a big bonfire
it was down on a property owned by friends, a winter festival with big bonfire, friends, food and beer. the earlier part of the night was taken with yule festivities, feasting and quaffing copious quantities of ale.
we enjoyed great conversation, fireside guitar playing, singing. the beer flowed, the food was fabulous. the company diverse, rich and highly enjoyable.
then slowly, one-by-one, two-by-two and three-by-three, people drifted away to their beds. eventually, just after midnight, I found myself alone in quiet solitude, yet in the company of an old friend; fire.
it’s an interesting (and somewhat useful) aspect of treading a path of nature-based spiritual practice; you fall into cycles, you experience life through a “cyclic lens” and see natural beginnings and endings everywhere.
with the whole of the natural world operating in cycles and circles (from the short cycle of a day, the medium-length cycle of moon phases to the passing of each year, decades, generations and more) it’s hardly surprising.
then it occurred to me that this is another ending and beginning point
it explains my relatively sombre and reflective mood in the past week, and it’s bloody obvious when you think about it. the focus has been on the marathon, the marathon objective was achieved.
end of project, except there’s an “after” as well as a “before”.
so, it was an end, but only the end of that particular cycle. it was also a beginning point.
as this thought floated around my head, I started to smile, to truly appreciate everything that has happened. truly and fully enjoying the sense of achievement.
actually taking time out and allowing myself to bask in the “glory” of it all.
I’d not really done that before, and it was needed.
then the thinking switched modes. “what next?”, what is “after”?
what does the future hold for this recent convert to running?
now, obviously I’d given some thought to it all before. I’m signed up for a couple of events, have started training towards a half marathon today in fact.
but I don’t think I’d sat down, evaluated and really thought about how I would like things to pan out, in an ideal world, if I was given control over how things went.
the answer caught me a little by surprise (something that I am having to rapidly get used to!)
I determined that my recent thoughts (about wanting to put energy into writing and running) were, in a nutshell, absolutely bang on the money.
the direction is clear. it goes into the scary unknown. it plots a course for somewhere well and truly out of comfort zone land. I knew that already. what really took me by surprise was my attitude towards running.
I realised that I don’t just want this to become the new comfort zone. I wasn’t happy with the idea of just plodding every Sunday, maybe doing the Perth marathon again next year and coming in a few minutes faster.
no, the thing I found (when I went looking) had a different agenda. a more competitive edge to it. I found a desire to push myself, to take the training even more seriously, to move things beyond “fat bloke waddling”, right up to the very edges of authentic running.
it’s too late to consider a career as an athlete but…
yes I’ve left it late in the day to discover a love of running AND a competitive edge, but that is still a useful combination.
I still need to shift another 20 kilos. NEED to as in WANT to. I’m not driven by narcissistic motives in that regard, I just want to FEEL lean, mean and healthy.
I also want to get my speed, endurance and fitness up. I’d love, for example, to complete a marathon in less than 5 hours. in any case, I still have a long-standing goal of doing 10km in under an hour.
so that’s the next phase officially mapped out. the weekend was about setting the boundaries, marking the start and end points. today is a slow day, a buffer.
tomorrow I start building on the tremendous achievements to date, driving things on to the next level.
from tomorrow I start taking my training (though not myself) seriously, taking nutrition a little more seriously, dropping more weight, improving performance, making sure that things like upper body strength, abs and so on are not neglected.
it can be done, it will be done.
no timeframe, NO EXPECTATIONS, just an(other) overall shift in attitude, perspective and priorities.
so, what are YOUR current priorities and focus? have they changed at all over time?