Don't hurry. Don't worry. You're only here on a short visit, so don't forget to stop and smell the flowers - Walter Hagan (1892-1969).
Now this has got to be one of the great clichés of golf, printed on every brochure for clubs who want to highlight their landscaping and mentioned with a chuckle by commentators when someone is unravelling before their eyes. But just because something is a cliché does not make it invalid.
The interesting thing is that it was said by one of the great golfers, someone at the top of the game. I would be hard put to think of any of today’s top sportsmen who would come out with such a quote. Now it is all about dedication, focus and giving 110/200/1,000 percent and success is validated by the hard work involved.
Sometimes when I look at the training schedules for the marathon and think they look all hard work and dedication and that is what I want to escape from when I run. It must not feel like work.
I can still remember a run of a few weeks ago that defined me forever as an amateur. It was one of those winter days when the temperature was crisp, the sky bright and the sunlight clear. I had just run a hill loop to bring me back to the canal and then I looked up. The water was completely still with the clear reflection of the trees and hedgerows, there was not a person in sight and there was a sense of complete calm. I just stopped – never mind the training, never mind the schedule – I spent the time in peaceful contemplation. It felt wonderful.
Reason No. 4 for running: It takes you to places where you can smell the flowers