One week after returning to British soil (well one week and a day if we are being pedantic) I have come up with an idea to ease my transition back into ‘normal’ life and to channel the extra energy I seem to have lying around.
Back home, certain things are unavoidable. I have to find a job, I have to do my share of the chores, and I have to learn to adapt to a lifestyle which isn’t competely self orientated – a luxury which I perhaps took for granted when I was out on the road. This in turn means I have to accept my long days in the outdoors have come to a temporary end – as running now has to fit around those things which are essential in order to live harmoniously with others and pay my way.
However, having had a taste of that freedom my approach is somewhat different to how it used to be. The idea of a full time job, office based or not, is not for me. I plan to work fewer hours, live more minimally and use as much time as possible to explore, learn new things and write about/share my experiences. I’m ditching what is expected of me, and pursuing what is important to me. Because at the end of the day, we only get one shot at all this.
So, back to that idea, here is the master plan. From now on I am going to aim to challenge myself to take on something new every week, and to write up how it goes on the ol’ blog. When I say something new – that doesn’t have to be an entirely new activity – just a challenge which I have not previously attempted. The beauty of this is that the challenges will be local, low cost and adaptable – so there is no reason why anyone couldn’t be inspired and challenge themselves to do the same thing. Perhaps we could swap notes.
These challenges will rather imaginatively be labelled as ‘Challenge of the Week’ or COTW for short. If anyone has a more creative title I am open to suggestions (looking in your direction Illinesi).
I would also welcome some suggestions – the more bizarre the better. I have a few ideas to keep me going for a couple of weeks – but may struggle when these ideas run out.
Challenge 1 – Banbury to Brixton and Back on a Bike…
So this week, the challenge was actually inspired by my struggling bank balance.
This weekend I am going to visit some school friends in Brixton, South London. Knowing that a train ticket would cost in the region of fifty pounds, I thought there must be another way.
So, without giving it much more thought than ‘Dad probably has a bike I could borrow’… I eagerly announced to my friends I would cycle down (from Banbury, Oxfordshire). Happy with my decision I googled the route – 125km and 6 hours 20 mins on the bike according to google maps. I did think at this point that actually that seems quite far – but I know I can run for 6 hours (with a few food breaks) so surely cycling for that time will be no more difficult?
Who knows? All I know is that there is only one way to find out. So on Friday lunch time, think of me, naively saddling up for the first half of a two day 250km cycle with the promise of a few drinks and good company in the interim.
I’ll let you know how it goes when I return home – and who knows, maybe this time in a few weeks there will be half a dozen more naive novice cyclists setting out on ambitious routes over the country. Or, there will be half a dozen people who know beter than to try it when I fail spectactularly (I’m presuming half a dozen people will read it… it may be less). We will see.
Until then, enjoy the rest of your weeks.