A marathon, not a sprint.
Into the second month of isolation. Stripping away a few things, and reacquainting myself with others. Such as running. We have had a treadmill gathering dust in the garage for 5-6 years; and recently got it back up and running…I hate running.
It is uniquely boring to me. I spend my time counting the seconds and the metres up, and then down again towards when I can stop. Still, this is the time.
My running goal, forever, is to run a 5k in 30 minutes; at 10k/h. That, for me, is health and fitness. I have probably run that far once in the last decade, and then I inflamed a ligament in my foot because I was woefully under-prepared to run a race. Even when the treadmill was working, I would max out at 4k interval training so I could stop after 22 minutes.
So, isolation. It gives me the leisure to be methodical. I started at 75% speed (7.5k/h) and 75% distance (3.75km). Day one hurt after maybe 2kms and I stiffened up for 2-3 days but I kept going. Now I am in week 2 and yesterday I completed 5k at 8k/h – around 80% of my goal. And I could have kept going quite happily, listening to music, but I am pacing myself.
Everyday, small increments, to the goal. This is not a sprint.
Corridor of uncertainty
I made the mistake yesterday to go to Pacific Spirit Park to walk the dog. Not again. Every trail was packed with huffing and puffing joggers and cyclists. I stood to the side to let them past, but it was a convoy. We were putting ourselves at risk. Meanwhile, walking the dog around my neighbourhood I scrupulously cross the road or walk down the middle of the street to avoid fellow pedestrians, where I can. I enjoy doing my bit. The forest has suddenly become a hazardous place; my urban streets an oasis.
Some things stay the same
Easter at ours means traditions: egg painting, freshly squeezed oranges, hot crossed buns. The Easter bunny was even able to get through the quarantine, thanks to some Provincial proclamations. It feels reassuring that some things carry on regardless. That level of normalcy is imbued by Lori’s calm demeanour. We will get through this.
The art of noticing
Slowing down opens new modalities of understanding. My beautiful mother is a master of noticing the small things – how a flower grows in a meadow; a plate of food resembles a smiley face. I have that skill too, sometimes, especially when I am alone and more introspective. Walking the dog around the block, I have been passing beautiful magnolia and cherry blossom trees. They are easy to enjoy. But I have been watching them change; the blooms opening, falling, the trees shaking themselves open and free and then dying back for their summer leaves.
Giving a FUQ
On my blog I have been writing for many years about the minutiae of life lived at velocity. My writing is personal, because that is the most earnest; but I try to refract it through the spectrum of change and challenge of the modern world, especially the future of work.
Pandemic life makes that all the more relevant. We are all reflecting on our personal manifestos of life, and imagining what might change. I have started to dig through the blog for inspiration, to see if I have already been here, seen that.
The blog stats showed someone read an old post this week called Give a FUQ: Frequently Unasked Questions.… “those topics that get swept under the rug, or ignored because they are complex, finicky, dull.”
So-called “Future of Work” folk are often considering these elements – how do we redesign our organizations, make work more whole(some), enable technology to make our lives easier…?
“These conversations are a way to work out loud on common issues, topics that need addressing but are never addressed,”
I cannot open my browser without tripping over content about how pandemics change everything. There are many unasked questions to address. We should all give a FUQ.
This Much We Know.