Thursday, 9 April 2009

11 years ago...

11 years ago today I was travelling down to Devizes for the start of the "Devizes to Westminster 125-mile international canoe and kayak marathon" the next day. (Which means that Easter falls on the very same date this year as then).

The memories still come flooding back each Easter, like the tide coming in. Here's the Telegraph's article this year:

Memories of the pain have long faded. But when I read my diary of the race from a decade ago, replete with statements that I had never felt so awful in my life as at such-and-such moment, it assures me that there's no exaggeration in such articles! The most ego-boosting bit of the above article is that advice: "Join a canoe or kayaking club - but remember some clubs discourage participation in the DW because it's so hard." Oh yeah!

I think in part the memories come back so powerfully to me because it's the life I left behind. I was hooked, and this kind of endurance challenge is what I really love. If it was all my choice, I'd be a miniature Ranulph Fiennes - climbing mountains, trekking to poles, running back-to-back marathons etcetera. (Ranulph Fiennes did the DW the same I and my partner did - I'm pleased to say we beat him comfortably, but then he only began training earlier the year, which is the mark of a mad man!). This kind of desire sounds like insanity, I know... you can't understand it unless you've been there!

But, the Lord had other plans. Life and work responsibilities and living in Africa have meant it would have been irresponsible to make the kind of sacrifices necessary to do those kind of thing, because they wouldn't just be my sacrifices. (And now I won't take part in Sunday sports - the DW moved a few years ago from Friday-Saturday to a day later). Seek first his kingdom! I did a marathon a couple of years ago (one of the few not on a Sunday!) - that's a very simple undertaking relative to something like the DW, but still a lot of fun. I'd like to do one faster. I injured my foot a couple of weeks ago though so for now I'm just icing it and waiting until it stops hurting!

Here's a post I wrote last year: "A Theology Of Endurance Sports":

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