At last I write another entry.
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On Friday I am flying to Geneva and then taking a train to the mountains.
I love being in the mountains. In the eighties, I spent time there and found a peace within myself that was eluding me at home.
The month I spent there allowed me to experience the energy and power of the mountains, demonstrating that I could feel at ease and free from the anxiety which was my constant companion at home.
This ever present anxiety manifested itself in the form of a disorder around food and eating. I was constantly striving to be leaner and slimmer for running - coupled with an anxiety that the pace of races would be too painful for me to maintain and I would struggle to achieve the times I desired! This simply fled in the mountains and of course my eating issues vanished with it.
I saw I could be at ease, with that came a deep relaxation and inner peace. Somehow racing up mountains didn't hold the same pressure as racing a 10k or marathon, even though I achieved record times for some of the races I ran!
It took me many years of practice to find the joy of living that I found all those years ago in Switzerland. The mountains gave me a portal into a relaxed state and offered me keys to my own inner freedom.
You must respect the majesty and power of the mountains. The air up there is thin making it nearly impossible to race. We have to adapt to the mountains and they simply accept our presence, remain still, clear and strong. They ask that we let go of trying and simply surrender into putting one foot in front of the other.
I remember reading Bear Grylls account of climbing Everest; he said that, when climbing he learnt it was vital to keep moving and continue taking small steps. This is a lesson we could all learn, whatever challenge we are facing.
Being in the mountains extinguished my ego and achieving a certain time and distance became less important. In the journey of achieving a certain time we gain awareness of ourselves and we cannot hide anymore.
The main attraction and joy of running is the chance to be free, it is a space where we are equal and can reveal ourselves and join together in our own individual quests.
And so on Sunday I am to run 20 miles up a mountain!
My sister and her family are holidaying out there. They come over to be a part of the festival.
I have just been on YouTube to get a bit of a feel for the course! It looks steep and rocky, narrow pathed and up a mountain!
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I haven't just run up a mountain (and am no international marathon runner!) but coming back from running on Harris I do sort of, in my own little way think that I know where you are coming from. I am plagued with a lack of confidence in my running and do focus too much on pace and times probably but the routes I ran on Harris were so hilly I had to forget about pace and times. It was simply about getting one foot in front of the other and not giving in and walking- it was weirdly very relaxing to have such a simple goal again and it was lovely to have absolutely nothing to compare it against at the end. The beautiful scenery and utter tranquility also helped put all the stresses of life back into perspective again, an effect I am mercifully familiar with after years of walking in places like this. Driving back over the routes also made me realise what I'd actually accomplished, my achievement was clearly laid out before me and not hidden away in splits and PBs.
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