It had to happen sooner or later and today was a horrid run - actually I quite enjoyed its horridness. Continuous heavy rain, heavy legs from the start, zero visibility and generally cold and damp. The crocuses had closed up again and the traffic was heavy. I was tired from the start and my bag was hurting my back. I went from Bexley to London Bridge and along the Thames Path from Greenwich onwards. The wending winding path began to piss me off and I kept getting lost and folding back on myself.
I seemed to notice every dog turd going which began to make me feel sick.
Meanwhile, my music was grating and my hands were freezing even with gloves on. I managed to blow snot into my face and grudgingly began to enjoy the run for what it was.
The cormorants (shags?) were in their element on the high Thames and the air was milky. I was beginning to despair that I would never hit the centre of town until I saw the skirt of the Shard, and all the buildings' outlines became recognisable in the mist. Grumpily caught the train home and got changed in the loo then ate a huge cheese and tomato baguette.
That run was a duty run which I had to do because I know I can't fit one in this weekend.
But it got me thinking about the resistance of the self and body to exertion and the commensurate rewards if one keeps at something. How so many of our actions arise and are driven by conflict - that inner tussle between sloth and action, aggression and submission, inertia and risk, etc.
What sculptors call the 'resistance of the material' is what we are working with as runners - and it applies to writers and artists too, and teachers, and animal trainers.. whether they are concerned with language, or bronze, or oils or fine spray paint, or a dancing dog. The traction makes us grip and progress..if there was nothing to work with, we could simply fall away..


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