|Approaching rain, late in the afternoon|
And so at 5.00pm I turned off my computer and as I stood up a colleague said he wouldn't mind going for a run after work with me sometime next week. He's new in the office and has previously been clocked as a cyclist and now he's a runner - definitely a good colleague to have around. Then another spoke up, saying she's more of a middle distance runner but wants to go running at lunch time. I asked what a middle distance runner is.
"About 800 to 1500" she said
"!500 what?" I asked
"Metres, you idiot"
"That sounds pretty short to me"
"It won't seem short when you run it in under 5 minutes Doug"
"Too right" I thought, somewhat put in my place.
I changed, into my running kit, put my office clothes into the car and went for a run. It was raining and somehow seemed a lovely thing to do. I'm lucky as there's a network of cycle paths allowing me to make up a run as I go. It also means I can run as far or as little as I choose.
I mentioned it was raining. That somehow added to a good run; it was a gentle soft rain; refreshing and just right after yet another tricky day. As I ran almost everyone else around seemed so drab, wet, cold and miserable looking; all plodding their way home after their own tricky day. Not everyone looked like that - there were a good number of runners around and everyone had a positive look about them. None of the runners were plodding along, dragging their feet or looking miserable. Instead every runner was running well; some in pairs some on their own like me. In an unspoken way we acknowledged each other with a nod that carried the message of comradeship and appreciation of the rain, the experience, the release of all that tension and stress.
I want my colleagues to also enjoy that and yet I am feeling challenged because I love to enjoy this on my own. Should I wriggle out of running with them? Of course not.
Besides, last Sunday I accepted the invitation of going for a bike ride with a friend from near home, we go to the same church. It was just for about an hour, starting out at 7.00am (which in England in November is daybreak). That was breaking a bit of a mould for me but we had a great time and I'm looking forward to doing that again and again!