As you know from my earlier tales, I take the dogs walking every day, that is, twice a day. This morning on our little jaunt, both dogs strutting alongside me, tongues out, both glancing at me continuously to check if I too was smiling with them at the sheer joy of being out on yet another glorious day, made me so intensely conscious of the simplicity of being a dog. The weather in Newlands this morning was not great, but for these two, it was irrelevant, they were out in the fresh air with me, the love of their lives. They were living with me in the sheer joy of the moment.
I turned 50 last year and for some reason, I became so obsessed with catching up and doing everything I want to do, because it is getting too late and I am getting too old. Can you hear the absurdity of this? So much has happened since I moved to Cape Town, and it is easy to forget what you achieve every day when you obsess about the future. Be present.
As you may have read in my last post, running became the focus of my early life here in Cape Town. In fact it became my obsession. I was waking up just after 4am every day, driving to Bergvliet to run 10-12 km, then racing home to walk the dogs, to dive through the shower and go to work. This was my pattern, it became my norm and I truly lived in the moment and the glow of my early morning and weekend running friends. Oh my god, how I loved the freedom of the run. The sound of our feet striking the pavements, the gentle banter, the soft sunrises and sometimes sunsets, the greenbelts of Constantia and Tokai and that intense strong bond between a band of people who become your fierce comrades of the road and trail.
This all came to a rather abrupt end for me in December 2015. Having tackled numerous 21, 42, 56km’s and finally the brutality of the Comrades, my right foot decided that it had had enough abuse and surgery changed my life yet again in Cape Town. From being totally independent and strong and fit, I fought my way through crutches, then a moon boot, but mainly I fought myself. Rage going on in my head all day. Frustration and the biggest “fear of missing out” FOMO you can ever imagine. It is now 6 months later, I am able to feel 3 of my 5 toes, and my range of motion is improving all the time. I watched and cheered at the Two Oceans Marathon and I sat glued to the Comrades constantly telling myself that it is just not my time. Photos show where my foot was, and how it has strengthened. I have met new people through Bodytech and strive to be able to say I love swimming…..not. I am rambling on, but my point is, it is only on reflection that you realise how good the present is. I do know how I loved running, (and I damn well will again), but this experience has taught me humility, and empathy and forged new and different friendships.
I have also just learned the pain of losing a friend. Not to death or disease, but because it was time for them to move on. This is a crushing experience. I am sure you have all gone through it at some time. You get left behind, for gods sake, and you feel devastated and victimised, and ache to your core, but as this leaf (picture above) dropped into my hair this morning, I realised how it was time for the leaf to fall at right that second. Let all the crazy go gracefully and look around you today and smile at what and who you are today.