I have avoided buying a watch for a long time. I can remember the freedom of giving up my watch. I felt like I had been a little time obsessed. When I studied, I would work for 50 minutes, then have a 10 minute break. Repeat. In exams, I would have 1.6 minutes per mark, with 20 minutes to check at the end. If I was meeting someone, I would always be early. I did think this was useful, and made me productive but... it made time my master rather than the other way around. So I ditched the watch. Just made sure I started early, and avoided corners. Space makes time.
I took up running two years ago with the goal of one day becoming an Unogwaja. Last year, I attempted the Comrades. I made the 89km from Maritzburg to Durbs along the road I grew up on, but I was just outside the stadium when the gun went. I slowed down, and enjoyed 'running' into Kingsmead. There are lots of things that went right that day, and lots of lessons learnt. It is easy to only focus on the 'what ifs'.
The Gun sounds outside the stadium
One of those 'what ifs' was if I had been wearing a watch. I liked the freedom of running wild. Truth is, I had no margin of safety. I was slow from the first kilometre. It was always going to be tight. I told a friend when I was dark and struggling, that I just needed to focus and get in my bubble. He responded, 'Your bubble is too slow'. I should have listened. One day, when my bubble is a bit faster, I will be able to be a little wilder.
Always look on the bright side of death
Before you take your terminal breath
In just under a month's time, I am attempting my second ultra-marathon. The Two Oceans (56km) in Cape Town.
This time I am going to watch myself.
Done Forrest Done