Right people. The Sydney Half Marathon is on in 9 weeks and I am their 4557th contestant. I downloaded the beginner program for a bit of a helping hand (the advanced was only for people who held Olympic qualifying times it seemed) and it doesn’t look too bad. Although I don’t have a stopwatch or any ability to judge distance so it could be somewhat difficult to follow the program correctly.
The other concern is that it started 5 weeks ago. Without a single stride, I am already behind the field. Doesn’t matter though, because each week begins with an inspirational quote. Listen to the ones I’ve missed already:
WEEK 14 “Life begets life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich.”
Good start. Encouraging, slightly cryptic, gives you something to think about so you don’t think about what it is you’re actually training for.
WEEK 13 “One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.”
I think Leonardo da Vinci said it better. He said; “For once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will always long to return.”
Actually, this quote resonates more profoundly with me than any other I have come across. I found it printed on a card in a little town called Bar Harbour in remote but beautiful Maine, where I happened to be performing for a summer. It was at a time when I had just finished a fabulous season of shows and while coming off the actor’s high, was acutely aware that I was a long way from home, particularly when I got news that my Aunty’s cancer had returned.
What to do? This was the life I had chosen. Or rather it had chosen me. Because I don’t know if anyone with any sense would willingly traverse such a tough career path, it’s just that the feeling in your heart doesn’t allow ‘sense’ to guide you any other way. It can be quite debilitating as you struggle to reconcile your lifestyle with family needs, poverty, stunted relationships and the tyranny of distance.
WEEK 12 “The only place you will find success before work is in the dictionary.”
This old one. I think this saying stopped holding any power when I was twelve.
WEEK 11 “Courage is like love; it must have hope for nourishment.”
Napoleon said this, apparently. I read there was speculation that he died of arsenic poisoning. There wasn’t much hope for him with that was there?
WEEK 10 “Dreams come true; without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them.”
John Updike wrote this one, but he is also quoted as saying he attempts “to give the mundane it’s beautiful due.” I like this one better. I always try to find beauty or humour in an otherwise boring or ugly situation. Most often you can, if you change your perspective and you’re not afraid to overturn a stone or two.
Thus begins week nine, which according to the program is a recovery week. Obviously I’m not quite sure how to proceed. Recover from what? I think I’ll do an assortment of routines from the past 5 weeks and try to consolidate them all into week nine. It’s a little ambitious, but never fear, this week’s quote will keep me going…
“Nobody climbs mountains for scientific reasons. Science is used to raise money for the expeditions; but you really climb for the hell of it.”
I am a mountain climber. Climbing for the hell of it. Daily I am climbing, hear me roar.