On the first day of March this year I took on a challenge to run every day in March. Every. Single. Day. It could be as far as I liked or as short as a mile, 1.6kms for those of us used to the metric system. It’s called a run streak and all over the world the people are streaking!
Yesterday I hit my 120th day of running. Yes, March extended into April, through May, then June and now for sure it will go into July. Yesterday, I also fell over. Thankfully, it wasn’t a fall I couldn’t spring up from but it was a fall that opened a wound.
A wound that if had I tried to expose it last year would have bled uncontrollably, it would have been too raw. A wound that has simmered in my subconscious, slowly waiting to be exposed. I’ve slowly pushed it away until now where the risk of facing it no longer seems so unbearable. Now it simply requires the bandaid to be ripped off!
Perhaps it’s the running that has made me stronger, perhaps it’s the time spent in isolation during quarantine, perhaps it’s the fact that there are no great life changes I am in the midst of. Whatever the reason, the fall helped me find some sense.
As I continued to run I began to wonder, do I really risk falling or do I play it safe? Certainly people tell me that the way I live my life involves a degree of bravery. But my bravery is coated with privilege. Moving abroad was an option for us because of dual citizenship. We also have enough education and work experience to be able to secure employment. What if we moved abroad and it all went pear shaped? Well, we could have come home. Home to our house, our friends and our family in Melbourne.
For a while we thought we’d always keep the safety of our home in Melbourne. But the fires, the ongoing inability in the world and some new tax laws reminded us we should just live where we are. We decided to minimise further. And somewhere, between the bushfires and the corona we sold our house in Melbourne. It was the final cutting of the cord to our old life. We realised we would never move back to the same house as the same people who left it six years ago.
My run streak has taken me through the settlement of the house, the letting go of the safety net to our old life, the lockdown of the world due to a pandemic and also the end of my midwifery career. My registration was due for renewal and I haven’t met the requirements to keep myself registered. Letting my registration go is the closing of a significant chapter of my life. If I am honest this was really just the more formal ending, the end has been in process since we arrived in Europe.
And while there are stories in all of these events, it’s the closing of the midwifery chapter that exposed the wound. I would have to face it. What am I now? I know what I care about, I know who I love and I know my passions, but where and how will I reinvent myself to express these. Of course I knew.
I want to reinvent myself. Reinvent what it is that I do. You see I do want to do something, to create something . And I know what, of course I know. When we are ready, we always know deep down. Naturally, sometimes we can’t quite dig deep enough or face what’s buried or maybe we don’t have the capacity or energy to try to dig for our gold. Hello, peri menopause. O.M.G. The peri. There’s an energy and confidence zapper right there. Off the track but I think a run streak is an excellent antidote to the peri.
Let’s get back to the gold. Big breathe, the gold I think I have is to write. As simple as that. And as hard as that.
Aaargh it is weird to even admit that sentence. It always comes back to writing for me. And as I ran, I wondered is this something I am scared of? Do I run for shelter every time I fall. Do I run every time there is a possibility of putting myself out there? And you know, I think I am scared. I don’t think I have tried hard enough to really fall. I just get a little wounded and then I give up. I can’t say I’ve really given it my all, or that I have fallen hard enough to know I have really tried.
My run yesterday was the fastest 10km I’ve ever run. I also ran the fasted km I had ever run. Ever. In forty seven years. Yes, I am getting faster with age. At the start of the year I though I’d never run again because of my lower (now greatly improved) back pain. And it made me wonder … what have I been telling myself about who I am? About what I can and can’t do? About what my lot in life is? About why I can’t do something?
Do I have things to say? So many! Do I have experiences to share? Hundreds! And that’s just from yesterday. And so perhaps it’s time to try harder. To commit. There are way more than 10 beautiful things about my village life I adore. Now that’s a story I’d love to read about someone else’s life. Why don’t I write that. Why don’t I write the stuff I want to read. And so I will.
Today is the last day of the school year and as we head into a summer at home, yes at home! I know. What even does that look like for this travel loving family?! While I am at home I will write every day. A story from our village life, a travel story or a tale from the trail. Is there anything you’d like me to write about? What would you like me to share, unpick or try during my writing streak. I’ll aim for a month first. There won’t be rules, ok, one – just a post a day. And I ‘d love to chat with you through this so let’s do that! I am getting better at that, I think. I hope. I do I know I need to give a bit more. Do you want to join me?
“My life has been a path at the edge of uncertainty. Today, I think we educate kids to be settled in the comfortable chair. You have your job, you have your little car, you have a place to sleep and the dreams are dead. You don’t grow on a secure path. All of us should conquer something in life and it needs a lot of work and it needs a lot of risk in order to grow and to improve you have to be there at the edge of uncertainty” – Francis Mallman.