Thursday, June 23, 2011

Juneathon 2011 Day 23: In praise of slow

2011 Streak Day 174/365: Walk - 1.1 mile, Time - 19min, Weather - showery
As I am still feeling a little bit feeble I did the very minimum today. Between the showers I walked around the park looking at the flowers and plants still holding drops of water on their leaves. 
It was all I felt like doing.
When I got home I sat down with a cup of tea and thought about having no zip and feeling slow. At first I was annoyed with myself but relaxed when I realised that listening to the body sometimes means hearing messages you don't like. Nevertheless you have to accept them. You might want to push things a bit harder but you will have to ease back. The trick is in recognising when that message is genuine (as opposed to being a moment of general lassitude), and remembering that running is a long game.
Whilst thinking this, by chance, I was listening to High by The Blue Nile, wondering if they had done anything since 2005. Unlikely as don't think there is any other band who can match their lack of productivity. Their first album was released in 1983 and since that date there have only been 3 others. An average of one album every 7 years is very, very slow.
I then read this from Robert Penn:
For many, cycling is all about riding fast – across the city to work, around a sportive course against the clock, or over Alpine cols in the tyre tracks of the professionals. But it was not always thus. Sixty years ago the British countryside thronged with cyclists. The postwar era was a golden age of cycle touring, and every weekend hordes poured out of the cities on two wheels bearing flasks of dandelion and burdock, bound for youth hostels in the hills. Bike rides then were all about slow cycling: they were about lying in hedgerows, reading maps, savouring the physical and emotional fellowship of friends and being profligate with time; bike rides were about having a good appetite, quiet market towns, pints, picnics by the river and the rhythm of two spinning wheels.
and thought 'there is a theme here'. Slow is not necessarily bad. All you have to do is relax into it.

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