I watched a film about the life of Bruce Lee the other night. I love this man. Aside from the fact he could kick anyone´s butt in a fight, he did it with style, panache, verve, grace and a whole host of other ´float like a butterfly´ type adjectives that leave me gobsmacked everytime I watch him. He lived for his art and through that developed an adonis-like body through his training and healthy eating. He inspires me to better myself, to reach out and challenge myself. He is, in a word, ´the man´.
Later that night I listened to Led Zeppelin. Jimmy Page, one of my all-time favourite guitar heroes is also ´the man´. A very different sort of man. He can weave a magic out of a block of wood with six taut strings plugged into the wall that I can only dream of. He also inspires me to better myself, to reach out and challenge myself. However, he just trained his brain to move his fingers, no mean feat, but I´m sure there were too many bacon & egg sarnies thrown in, along with god knows what other substances you can´t get a receipt for when you buy them.
One of them died young. Guess which one didn´t?
So here I am, still choosing my role models at the beginning of my 4th century on this frankly bizarre planet and wondering where I´m going now. I´d love to be both of those chaps at once but I´m sure that´s impossible. I´ve never imagined myself playing ´Since You´ve been Loving Me´on my guitar while planting a pinpoint perfect roundhouse kick on the back of Messr Plant´s head. However, I have imagined myself swinging said kick in a street fight, or playing said piece to thousands of screaming fans. But there´s no time for both so now I´ve decided to make a choice.
I don´t know what it was that made me put one foot in front of the other last March. But finally, after years of thinking runners needed to be locked up, something clicked and it made sense. An incredibly exciting journey followed inolving training, injury, HR monitors, Garmins and whatever other paraphrenalia I could get my hands on. I raced and did 3 half-marathons, each one faster than the previous. I finally had an identity and could leave behind my multiple-role model personality disorder.
Then...disaster struck. I let stress get the better of me and went back to smoking. Jimmy Page had returned along with playing the blues. Unhealthy eating followed shortly afterwards and I felt my body tumbling once again into the abyss. Bugger.
But now, a few short weeks later, I realise there is another addiction in my life. One foot in front of the other is calling me. I went to race last week in the mountains and quickly realised what I´d done to myself. I hurt, I panicked, I nearly cried. But...I put one foot in front of the other and finished flying like a bird. Or maybe like Bruce Lee.
So, although I hurt it´s now become clear what I need to do. I´m going extreme.
In 8 weeks time, on June 3rd, there is half-marathon across the mountains of Pedreguer in Alicante, Spain. I will be there and I will fly. It will be the toughest thing I´ve ever done.
I am going to change my diet and stop the fags from this Saturday. No more tobacco, and no more sugar. I am giving up treats. I am even giving up my cup of tea. I want to see how far I can fly. And all this while in the middle of a hectic family life involving two small children and a full-on job.
Running...God´s gift to man and I´ve never even been sure I believed in Him. If you can find time to join me I´ll be getting a lot of my chest. But it won´t be for long - just 8 weeks in which I have no idea what will happen. Feel free to encourage me all you like.