It’s been abnormally hot and the reality of October has finally set in. Storm Callum or no Callum, winds have picked up, temperatures have plummeted (to where they should be) and rain, a distant memory of March 2018, has returned. Who knows what to make of it? For the first time in recent memory, the prospect of sitting in doors, in the tranquility and comfort of consistent warmth, dry extremities and all the stodgy carbs you can drag out of the pantry, sounds relatively appealing.
I honestly can’t remember when I last donned a waterproof hard-shell for a run since the “Beast from the East”, I toughed it out at Ring of Steall when I was moments away from quickly changing into one on the final ridge line and all I could think about now was overheating. I shouldn’t have worried. At 10 degrees C, with a pretty brutal wind and rain, despite a base layer, gloves and cap, I was able to wear a heavier weight hard-shell without any problems.I locked my watch away, under the my jackets cuff, running on feel for the full duration, not worrying about average speed’s, with readings disrupted by building and flora canopies, releasing their brown and amber cargo to fall to the ground, whilst gusts distorted their journey, overcoming gravity for that moment.
Shorts rapidly saturated, clinging to my legs like lycra, gloves gradually absorbed water, dripping with every fist clench. I was pleased to have worn a cap, in order to keep elements of precipitation at bay from landing freely in open eyes. Despite winds best attempts, the peak of the cap shrugged off the best efforts to dislodge and remove it from my noggin.
Nearing the half way point, podcast freely broadcasting information into waiting ears, mouth consuming jellies and a flapjack, thirst quenched with Mountain Fuel, legs felt good, body relatively relaxed. The footpaths of Milton Keynes were post apocalyptic, devoid of human life, everyone cowering in cars or public transport, unwilling to experience nature. Turning back on this out and back, a new energy was found, knowing every step was now leading to sanctuary.
Hamstrings began to tighten as I neared my longest distance this year, having also endured 3 hours of exposure to an aggressive combination of water, wind and low temperatures.
And yet, as the rain started to subside, faces remained behind glass. No one was willing to join me in this celebration of raw nature.
I think it’s fair to say we are growing softer. With the majority of us having the option not to step outside when weather isn’t favourable, with gyms, health clubs, houses, transport and all you need being beamed to your hand via wifi or 4G, is there a need to go outside?
For me, the answer is simple. Obvious.
Yes. Nothing can replicate or come close to the endorphin rush of weather battering you around the face, telling you you’re alive. Reminding you of your tiny role in this global ecosystem, this living organism.
This Autumn, I challenge you to go outside, even if only for 5 minutes. When the weather isn’t comfortable, when you will need to sacrifice your personal comfort. See what feelings it gives you during and after you have dried off/warmed up after. Trust me when I say, your senses will thank you for it.
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