Joy

Posted on: 25 Nov 2023

I'm 56 years old for Christ's sake. But God has granted me the wherewithal to keep fooling myself that I'm younger. And by that I mean doing what kids do. Running. 
And today it was even more childish - it was running through the mud. 
Having watched my lad tear up trees in the running game for the last five years - bringing us to events and places we'd never known or respected, a germ of interest grew in my mind. Cross country. And specifically cross country at Sefton Park, Liverpool. A huge event. But an inclusive one. The very best in the world, in the same race as well, let's be honest, the very worst. But that adjective is ambiguous. How can 'worst' reflect the character of someone who chooses to run through foot-deep mud for six miles on a Saturday afternoon? That's me kidding myself again.

But the start though. I don't know how many eager panting humans pushed to the line on this crisp November day, but there were many. A crowd. Two minutes before the gun went, I looked up to the sky. Cerulean blue framed by the odd dancing white cloud and split by a shining bright orange easyJet climbing out of Liverpool John Lennon. 
"I'm alive. I'm in this"

The next six miles went in a beautifully controlled floating haze. No matter where you are in the field. No matter that you've been lapped by the superstars. No matter the mud is deep enough to put a horse off its stride. This was the expression of life - that we're all in it together, that it could go wrong at any point, that glory is transient, that breathing is everything. 
Thank you to whatever greater power put me on this course. Gave me this perspective. And ... how beautifully uncomplicated.
 

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