I’ve been busy

A new job. A new focus for writing. A new life.

The past month has been busy. Productivity is through the roof, I’ve returned from the Highland Trail race knowing what I want from life and being able to see it for what it is. Worth versus want. Needs versus demands. Addressing each in turn has taken a weight off my mind and body.

I’ve spent the past two weeks working on an article for Singletrack on the Highland Trail Race and what it was to me. Many hours, much thought and a lot of self reflection has gone into it. Hopefully it will amuse and inspire some people. We will see.

An extract below (pre editing from Jenn):

Day two starts with my only mechanical of the race. A puncture at 6am. Wonderful Stan does his job and my tyre seals. James waits, I don’t understand why. My cross-country racers brain is cut-throat. It mellows as the days go by, softens, accepts the needs of the group. We arrive at a camp-site cafe with an hour to spare before the shop opens. Luxury time is spent eating and chatting with fellow racers before we shop, pack, and head our separate ways. A three hour ride before breakfast on a granola bar becomes the norm by day four. Hot food is no longer something I crave. Coffee a distant memory.

 For the next few hours we ride, push, chat and navigate over moors and trails. We eat lunch in a bothy avoiding the windy afternoon. We are surprisingly still dry, tanning in the almost warm Scottish summer sun. More riding and chatting, getting to know another person in a way abnormal to the daily manner. Talk goes from the surroundings, our lives, the race, everything. As the hours pass we open up the most intimate details, showing the truth behind the mask we carry around our established friends. Accepting and explaining why we are here happens many times over the following days. The similarity of stories of loss, depression, needing space reverberate deeply in each persons reasoning. The draw of ultra endurance racing appears to be similar for many. Escapism, solitude, immersion.  

Credit: Arno Minar

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