Negative thinking history cleared

For a few days I have really looked forward to this weekend. Cricket as ever in the summer on a Saturday, but most of all back to walking on Sunday after five weeks. In the last couple of weeks, I have champing at and chomping on the bit ready to get those boots back out and stamp along the roads and paths of Southern Hampshire.

I know it’s good for me, and I hadn’t realised how much others knew it has been good for me, despite me banging on about it on this blog and in conversation, until a few months ago when I was in a meeting with a senior manager at work, not known for their small talk. They said to me, “You know Keith, you need to be around here for a few years yet. Do whatever long walks you need to keep up your health and well-being for that time”. That has stuck with me and will stick with me for some considerable time.

I was full of enthusiasm this morning and, without quite bounding out of the front door, was eager to get a few miles, at least double figures. Of course, it was very likely to be only double figures. Treble figures or 100 miles would just be too much, 100 kilometres were hard enough and I would have still to be limping around some time on Monday afternoon or evening for that. I was not tempted at any time to speed walk and the mission was purely a function of distance. Well, that, and a desire as always to perform that function “Clear Negative Thought History” – which would be so easy if only it did take three or four clicks in Internet Explorer or Chrome. So much has happened since my last walk, the London2Brighton thing no less.

The EU referendum. I didn’t like the outcome but we have to live with it. Solution is for everyone to deal with the consequences rather than try to change the result. Anything else would threaten the public engagement with the whole democratic process and further degenerate the trust in politicians and politics, though it has to be said that not many on either side of the original argument are helping much to deal with the consequences. Move on…

England at the Euros. I didn’t like the outcome but we have to live with it. Solution is to deal with the consequences rather than try to change the result. There’s a theme building, it seems. The “we are where we are” position.

More personally, the lack of walking for that time just makes me feel unfit. That is perhaps the most easily resolved, and I went along the path of dealing with the consequences. I’m still very proud of what I achieved and that positivity can drive me to similar or bigger and better things, in time.

So double figures were the goal today. It was around 6 miles before I took a coffee stop in Stubbington. You know, anyone who has been my friend for any length of time will know that feeling of hearing the same pun or joke over and over again (c.f. check shirt) and I had that feeling today in a condensed 20 minutes. I had only just taken my seat to drink my coffee when a bloke, around my age, entered with his family and it was clear that he and they were not coffee shop regulars, especially when he pronounced the word ‘mocha’ to rhyme with ‘nosher’. As they sat down at a table close to me, he mused, “Costa Coffee? Costa fortune, more like.” Ok, I excuse him the first well worn use of that play on words.

Incidentally, the term ‘play on words’ comes from Shakespeare and The Merchant of Venice, where Lorenzo exclaims, “How every fool can play upon the word!” That play was one that I studied for my O Level English Literature and was my favourite of the half a dozen works of old Will that I read – or had to read perhaps – as part of my education. Romeo and Juliet was all right, though I felt that some of the cast were acting like drama queens half the time and Macbeth? I could take it or leave it really. Yes, T.M.O.V. was certainly my favourite.

Anyway. Methinks that be enough of that Bill Bryson-like digression into pointless natter, and back to the coffee. Yes, this Costa fortune line was repeated five times (yes, I was counting) before my time was up and I told him exactly what I thought. Well, actually I didn’t, indeed I wasn’t going to get too frothed up about it and I went on my merry way to Fareham before turning for home. 16 miles in total. A very satisfactory reintroduction to my pastime and exercise of choice for almost five years now. Soles of my feet a trifle sore but only to be expected after the longest hiatus over that period. Negative thinking history cleared. Rebooted and ready to get on with whatever life throws at me.



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