Greetings – after a long time away from doing this, I left one of my last blog posts before this with the following quote: “20 years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
– Mark Twain
That was in January 2020 and of course an awful lot of things have happened to the world since then. An aborted trip to Nepal was the last ‘disappointment’ personally, and in line with the above quote it still smarts a bit, but I shouldn’t (and won’t) dwell on that one bit. It also got ‘replaced’ that same summer with a great adventure on the Coast to Coast walk, which I loved and would love to actually do again sometime. But apart from one (wonderful and so enjoyable) trip skiing last month, I literally haven’t travelled anywhere since then, as of course has been the case for most people.
Life is of course what you make of it from one day to the next, and so looking over your shoulder has never been my thing. What matters is what you make of the cards that you have in your hand, at any time. Sometimes they are good ones, and sometimes they aren’t.
You only have to look at the (sub)title of my blog to know my philosophy on life. And I now speak (some two years after that last mission statement) in a somewhat different place for several reasons. The most fundamental of these are that in only 32 days time I will retire from work, maybe forever (!). That final decision will ultimately be made by the passage of time and events, but for now it will take the form of a break at least. I also find myself living, very fortunately, in the place of my childhood (and indeed lifelong) dreams, the Lake District, of which more in a later blog post. Suffice to say that in terms of fulfilling ambitions it is up there with the very best of them.
I’ve decided to start up my blog again now for several reasons. One, I love doing it, and over the last 10 or more years it has seen me in places and adventures that I couldn’t have even imagined or written the script for. Secondly it becomes for me both prophetic and self-fulfilling. Thirdly I’m about to (per the above!) about to have a lot more time on my hands. And fourthly (and ultimately now for me most importantly), I’m about to embark on some more adventures!
The first (not adventure but challenge) thing I have booked is the Berlin Marathon later this year. I want to say so much more about this, and so will do so in a subsequent blog post, but for now I know that I can’t wait to do it, and hope moreover that my body allows me to do so. I need to get properly fit to do that, and I know am not in the best shape I can be right now.
Why Berlin? Well, amongst other things it is such an incredible city, with the history of Brandenburg, the Prussian Empire, the Weimar Republic, The fall of World War 2, and of course the Wall and the Cold War, to name but a few. It also happens to be one of the six World Marathon majors, and is a flat course where Eliot Kipchoge set the (still current) world record. So if it is good enough for him…….. 😃.
The marathon is in September, two weeks after my favourite running event of them all, the Great North Run. I’ve paid for a place through an international travel operator, who buy and sell places on at a premium, so at least I know I’m in, if at a price. And already, even if this decision was taken only last week, I am bursting with excitement at the thought of just being on the starting line, and running through the Brandenburg Gate at the end. There are surely not many places of such combined majestic prominence and historical significance than that. I also know that the operator, Sports Tours International, who I used for my one and only marathon to date (New York in 2019) are a good company to go with.
I know from experience just how hard marathon training is. It’s simply a massive commitment in terms of time, effort, money and the impact on other things you might want to do. But I don’t want that disappointment of never having tried. My bowlines are thrown off, and safe harbors are not for me. Unfurl those sails and explore, that’s where I most surely am right now.
More soon……… 😊