I like the idea of small, achievable goals that add up. Tim Minchin calls it being micro-ambitious. As soon as goals become very large, just taking the first step becomes very difficult. I also like the idea that the process is even more important than the goal. If we get incredibly good at looking towards some future point, our gaze is still on 'what next' when we are in the moment we have so looked forward to. In less than a years time, if my application is successful, I will be attempting the Unogwaja Challenge. Until earlier this month, I got to frame this as 'the year after next'. Safely enough in the future that the enormity of the task of cycling c. 170km a day for 10 days, and then running the Comrades Marathon is tomorrow's problem. But tick tock. Time waits for no one, no matter how hairy. It is now 'next year' I am aiming for.
A marathon is a long way. Even a half marathon intimidates me. The Comrades is more than twice that. Then there is the cycle bit before you get to the start line. That is the big goal. The goal that makes me sweat a little and people who care about me think I am nuts. I tell them, although not for charity, it is for a good cause. I am not trying to be a hero. I will not destroy myself. Apparently we only think running is bad for us because we spend most of our time on our bums, then try run. This confuses the body. We were in fact, born to run. Then I remember the figure of 170km a day. Ten days. Comrades Marathon. How to start?
So for the next bit, I am not going to think about the goal too much. I am just going to try and enjoy each day as I kuier with London. I am just going to include some walking in the kuiering. I have started 'Urban Hiking' and would like to try walk the length of a marathon in one sitting during the next week or two. I have done 10 miles a few times (one as a very slow run, breaking my distance record). I was staying in Norwood Junction and walked to Brixton and back. On another day I walked to Hoxton Square. On the way I get to see London just doing its thing. I have even, believe it or not, being getting quite a tan. I have also been zooming through Audio books.
The idea of the Urban Hiking approach started when I went for a run without my phone. I was in an area I didn't know, and decided to trust my nose. I got a little lost and the run eventually became a walk as I tried to figure out my way back. Almost 4 hours later my hosts opened the door to a very tired, but inspired, newborn urban hiker. You can't really get lost in London. There are tube and bus stops all over the place. A cab could easily take you home. You could just run or walk map free until your body starts complaining.
Fancy joining the Circus?
Today's walk has lead me to Crouch End and 'Fifty Five' - a little coffee shop with savoury pancakes. They have free wifi. All these things make me happy. Yes, I am easy to please. My micro-ambitious goal was for today to be a good day. So far, so good.