Yesterday, I ran 6 km along the Yarra river in Melbourne, had a quick shower, changed and then went to a noon time vinyasa class.
I’m on holiday, and I spent the first few days doing my favourite things: yoga, eating breakfast, running, wandering the city. I went for my first short run the first day I got here, and felt this new continent under my feet with great comfort and surety.
I was thinking as I was running yesterday that there are so many ways to think of this kind of run.
I’ve been running for 24 years, so it’s just what I do. I go to a new place, I run.
I’m doing the 218 workouts in 2018 thing, and this was workout #290. It was a symbol of successfully building an almost-every-day workout habit, an embodiment of my capacity to set and meet goals, with the support of a great little community.
I like to count things, and Australia is my 60th country. I thought it was #59, but my mother informed me last week that we camped in Monaco one night when I was 9, which I hadn’t known. For the past 20 years, I’ve run in most of the countries I’ve been to — I think this is country #28 I’ve been lucky and privileged enough to run in.
More than anything, this run was about the privilege of having a body that is capable of running at nearly 54. My knees are behaving oddly, and I’m menopausally fatigued and heavier and getting so much slower, and I can’t imagine running distances right now — my body is just more tired, thicker, more sluggish. But I can put one foot in front of the other and find flow, joy, presence, weave past the meandering walkers and find the unexpected bridges, the little historical plaques that tell me what the river was like before Europeans came here. My body takes me places — across the world and out the door — of full amazing discovery. I am joyful and so grateful for that.
Yesterday I also picked up my hire bike for a solo bike trip I am leaving on tomorrow. Today I rode it out for a fantastic breakfast and then fiddled about with panniers and seat height and all of the decisions about what to load onto it and what to stow. So satisfying to decide what I can minimally live with for a week.
I run, I bend, I ride, I move my body, I explore — I am unbelievably lucky, so grateful.
Fieldpoppy is Cate Creede, who writes for this blog two or three times a month and who is currently cycling a tiny pocket of Victoria, Australia