I am a bad loser. Losing at sport makes me extremely grumpy. A crucial loss at cricket yesterday has made me grumpy last night and this morning and, perhaps even worse, even Pompey winning has infuriated me – not the fact that they won, but that the fans are tearing each other apart on account of them winning without playing that well yet. Sport is something that draws emotions from many that are unhealthy, yet sport is one of the most healthy pastimes one can do, both for physical and mental health.
So another walk today, and I have really been feeling my lack of fitness lately. Once the cricket season is out of the way, the walking bug will flutter again – I don’t have any particular challenge in mind but I do like having that feeling of being a bit fit and able to do long distances without excess pain. It helps when you hear of friends achieving great things – Emily completed the South Coast Challenge yesterday, overnight and this morning, another 100km event. Well done to her and it is inspirational for people like me, deciding I had no excuse not to get out and do a few hard yards. I’ve got sore feet now, though probably not as sore as Emily’s. It is worth it, she would tell you, and I know it too.
A mixed forecast weather-wise and I had a light rain-proof jacket on as I left the house in light drizzle. Rain came and went throughout the hours I was on the road, and after taking the jacket off and then putting it on again twice, I got fed up and just left it on. Despite knowing that I needed this walk, my enthusiasm, as often is the case, was less than optimal for a few miles before picking up at about 8-10 miles; I can’t quite explain why. The new football season has kicked in and Sunday afternoon means football commentaries on the radio. The first half of the big game – West Bromwich Albion v Middlesbrough – was so boring that I turned over to a local music channel, to hear Bill Withers and ‘Lovely Day’. Now I reckon there is no-one, yes no-one, who has heard that song more than a couple of times without trying to hold that long note for as long as Mr Withers. Toward the end of the song, he holds a note for 18 seconds. As head music, this was easy – I held the note for almost four minutes before my mind wandered back to thinking that something could have happened in the West Brom game. I tuned back in, and no, it hadn’t, and no, it didn’t. Nil-nil, barely a threat on goal. So much for our financially over-bloated greatest league in the world.
A couple of lads on mopeds would have taken me out if I hadn’t been too sharpish crossing a pedestrian crossing, also suggesting I could have a cup of coffee. I had had a half hour break earlier so I declined their kind offer and carried on my way. But it did make me realise that life and challenges can be dangerous, bringing to mind the Channel swimmer who lost his life very recently and I am aware of a number of Lands End to John O’Groats cyclists coming to similar fates over recent years. It pays to be very aware of one’s surroundings, though I don’t think that would have helped the aforementioned victims that much. As a walker, anything could happen but one can limit the chances of an accident to an extent.
Oh, cheer up. It was hard to push myself for the last three miles or so and the time I spent walking should normally mean a mile and a half more than I managed today, just over 16 miles. But speed was not of the essence. Happy with the distance and the increase from last week. A lovely day? Perhaps not, but a decent one, in the scheme of things. Er, what is this ‘scheme’ of ‘things’? If I was a Dragon in the Den, and an entrepreneur came in and said they had a scheme, I would want a bit more detail than “it’s a scheme of things – and if you are in the scheme of things, it’s a general situation, and it can be grand”. Great. Let’s move on. What’s the business plan? Give me some numbers? No, don’t bother. Next!
Mental health. Physical health. Good for that. Feel better.