Ok guys, bear with me. This post has all the hall-marks of someone who has had a long time to think about things……
Today when I was in Doncaster for work (oh the glamour of HR), I spoke with a lady who had lived in Yorkshire her whole life. Her family were miners from a mining village, and she moved to Doncaster 23 years ago.
I wondered how connected she must feel to that particular part of England, knowing that her family had lived there for generations and helped create its fabric.
Being an Australian in England, I don’t feel a connection to this place – definitely affection, but not a connection that this is where I’m from. And going back to Aussie with an English twang in my voice also makes me the ‘other’ there too, even though I identify most strongly with being Australian.
It struck me that running is something that has really helped me orient myself in both places. I know it sounds
wanky pretentious, but hear me out. Thanks to running, I know how the commuters move like schools of fish in both London and Sydney, what Sydney harbor looks like when it hails, and when it’s sunny, and where the Thames shimmers at both 7am and 5pm. I know that there are Norman ruins within 3 miles of Durham in the middle of the countryside, and where the lambs like to play in Spring.
And I also know how the grey stones of Edinburgh shine when the sun rises, and how the piers of San Francisco are passed by couples who see no one else but themselves, and by skateboarders who want to impress everyone.
These are things I only know from running. And if I had stayed inside, or run in a gym, I would have missed them. I’m really grateful for being able to experience them because they make up the heartbeat of each place. So even though I don’t have a connection to my home as such, I’m really fortunate that running has taken me right to the centre of places and to know them that way.
Disclaimer: I am currently alone on a train traveling to London, and am in need of my dinner. So this explains why I’m in a bit of a
wanky meaningful mood!