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Finding Inspiration

April 3, 2012

Hello – long time, no see! I’ve had a busy week at work, which has meant that although I’ve had time to blog, my spare time has actually been dominated by staring into the TV like a zombie. I’ve been keeping up with all of my favourite blogs, although I haven’t had the energy to comment as much as I usually do.

Despite my lack of posting, a lot has been going on, most of which has been very good. Last week I made the most of the glorious weather that March brought us by going for some magnificent runs. Last Tuesday I went with my running group on a “5 mile steady run”. The first half was fantastic – we ran off-road and across a golf course while the sun was blazing down on us. Then our coach showed her sadistic streak and we ended with some very tough hill repeats. I didn’t wear my Garmin, but I’m reliably told that we did closer to 7 miles than 5! My knees still haven’t quite recovered.

I really enjoyed Thursday’s club run. It was all off-road, which is a nice change from running on the pavements. It was very dry, so I didn’t need to wear trail shoes, but at some point I might invest in a pair because I would like to do more off-road during the summer. I also ran (well crawled actually) up the steeped hill ever – it practically counted as rock climbing. It was a lot of fun though!

The weekend was perhaps one of the most random ever. I was invited back to my old college to celebrate 10 years since I started there. Every year they invite alumni that started 10, 25, 40, 50, 60 and 70 years ago, so there was a real mix of ages! The main event was a dinner on Saturday night. I didn’t take any photos, but it was quite good compared to some of the food we got served when I was there 10 years ago. We started with pea, watercress and basil soup; the main course was lamb with roast potatoes; and dessert was a chocolate and raspberry tart. One thing that really had improved was the wine. College wine had a reputation for being corked, but the stuff we were served on Saturday was really quite good and our glasses were topped up frequently. Back in the day we were only allowed half a bottle at dinner, probably to prevent too much carnage … I could tell a few stories!

After dinner we completed our journey back in time by going to our old clubbing haunt. It was good fun, even though I felt O.L.D. I ended up dancing for around two hours and oh my goodness I’m broken now! I have more DOMS this week than I did after the half marathon.

Saturday started with the AGM of the college alumni followed by a lecture about the physics of “booming” sand dunes and avalanches. Physics is definitely not my subject and I dropped physical geography as soon as I could, so much of the lecture went a bit above my head. It was interesting to get an insight into some of the research going on though. As far as I can gather, in a nutshell some sand dunes make a low frequency booming noise when you slide down them. Most of these dunes are in California, so I need to head out to the Mojave Desert and slide on my backside down a few.

Random event number two was a concert of chamber music. Every year an alumni of the college, who is now a musical director of an orchestra, comes back and holds a three day workshop with students. There are no auditions and she doesn’t know which instruments there will be in advance. I don’t play any instruments and I’m not talented musically, but I loved listening to the work that they’d done. The highlight was a Chinese student who played the Chinese flute. I can honestly say that it was the most beautiful sound that I’ve ever heard. She also had a lovely story about how she learned to play, involving climbing up a mountain every Saturday morning to meet with her teacher.

The college is women only and as I mentioned, there was a large range of ages, so I found it a very inspirational weekend. These women did so many different things with their lives – some were academics, journalists, scientists, full-time mothers, lawyers, and a whole host of other things. Looking around the room while I was listening to the concert I admired how beautiful every single one of the women looked. There were all sorts of shapes and sizes, many of them were greying, and there was a whole range of fashion. However, the focus was on friendship and making a contribution to the community. It suddenly struck me how little physical appearance really matters to living a truly happy and fulfilling life.

I came away thinking that life is too short to be worrying about the idea of a “perfect” body. I want to be healthy enough to be able to live the life I want to, and that does involve eating well and exercising, but even then good health is never a given. I also want to make an effort to look good by taking care of my appearance. However, this is all very much secondary to enjoying life and making the most of any opportunities that arise.

I realise that this post is a bit all over the place, but I guess that’s how my week has been!

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve done lately?

Have you met anyone inspirational? What was it about them?

8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 3, 2012 4:28 pm

    I think its great that you get the opportunity to go back to your college and can constructively contribute back.
    I hear you on the dancing DOMs …. killer 🙂

  2. April 3, 2012 6:35 pm

    Sounds like a lovely meal! I never bother with my alumni stuff perhaps I should! I think you are so right about things at the end of this post, it’s something I’ve been thinking about recently, I’m becoming much less concerned about my physical appearance and more concerned about my health and happiness 🙂

  3. April 3, 2012 8:41 pm

    It sounds like an amazing event and I see why you feel inspired! I had DOMS after a heavy couple of hours gardening; that and dancing must just use totally different muscles 🙂

  4. April 3, 2012 11:58 pm

    I think this is a really lovely message to take away from the event, it’s so important to make enjoying life one of our priorities and not let other things blind us from this.

    I’m glad you had a good time revisiting your college, it sounds like it was a brilliant event. I would have loved to have gone to the chamber concert! It must have been great to draw inspiration from all of those amazing women 🙂

    I hope you’re having a fantastic week!

  5. April 4, 2012 5:16 pm

    That sounds lovely- to spend the time like that but to also be reminded of the importance of being happy and giving something back, not just about looking good.
    I had a protein smoothie the other day, and by my friends terms that would be “unusual” as they think protein powder is for men on steroids!

  6. Errign permalink
    April 4, 2012 6:52 pm

    “I want to be healthy enough to live the life I want to” – THIS. I don’t need to be rail thin or toned or a super speedy runner to be happy and I don’t need to eat 6 tons of vegetables every day to have a good diet. Healthy is enough 🙂

  7. April 5, 2012 10:33 am

    Looks as if you have been having a great time! I have been tuning in to the topic at the end of the post so much more in recent months being happy and healthy definitely outweighs the way I look on the outside. 😀

  8. April 5, 2012 9:36 pm

    What a brilliant idea to do reunions like that and I love random weekends – although I’m with you, my knees can’t take dancing all night like they used to 🙂
    Your last paragraph says it all, that’s the best possible way to be, I reckon.

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