Running, Sunshine and Afterthoughts


As we left the M1 and snaked up towards the G at glacial pace, we decided that our passenger and I should walk the rest of the way (only a couple of km). Tress and I swapped places, she got into the driver’s seat and our passenger and I started walking. Or rather, I walked and he started to jog lightly. It was about 6.30 – about half an hour before the marathon starting time.

Our passenger is the father of an acquaintance. We did the usual Asian thing and simply called him “uncle” and we’re yet to learn his name as of now. Uncle is 77 years old and was about to run his 53rd marathon. He had flown into Melbourne from KL a few days earlier. We walked towards the starting point at Batman Avenue and just before I turned towards the G and pointed him to the starting line, I took a picture with him. It’s a picture which I can imagine a caption along the lines of “when I grow up I want to be like him”.

Mine was only the 10km – so I headed to the G, left my stuff in the bag stalls and milled with crowd till for about half an hour or so before my event started. I pushed hard and felt great till maybe the 7km mark, when my knee played up and the pain was bad enough to make me walk for a few minutes before lightly jogging and alternating between that and running at normal pace but letting the good knee do most of not all of the work. I also said a little prayer and after about a km or so was able to run better but definitely slower than I would have liked.

Running the rest of the course cautiously, I was glad to finish but was disappointed not just at the finishing time but also location – we didn’t run into the G this time, due to returfing work.
I had to get my stuff (with my phone) from the bag stalls before I could get in touch with Tress and when I did, we milled around and took in the atmosphere. It was a warm day and we wanted to meet the rep from the Victorian Autism organisation (Amaze). We found her on the other side of the G, where the half-marathoners finished.

Just after 10.30, we walked towards Richmond station and headed home. We went straight from the station to Madam Kwong’s where the wonton mee tasted even better than usual.

After cleaning up we did some work/pottered around the house and then decided to get some coffee from Nuts About Coffee –our newly discovered coffee joint near Blackburn station. Sitting outside the shop with Scruff on a warm and slightly windy day, it felt like being at the beach on a summer’s day.
When we got back, I had a buyer come in to buy the bike I picked up from Hawthorn FC the day before. The proceeds have been earmarked for more footy games next year…

With all chores done the day before, there was nothing left to do which had to be done and that was the best circumstances to finally and totally relax. With a glass of very chilled white, I sat down to watch some tv and then watched a DVD (JE Hoover played by Leonardo). We took the little fellow for his walk, take in – bask in – yet more of the day’s sun. Tress and I then prepared a salad for dinner and spent the rest of the evening just chilling out. As we did, we suddenly remembered we talked about going to the 6pm service at St Alfred’s, having missed our regular 10am service.

On the train this morning as I read John’s and Jude’s letters and reaching the beginning of Revelation, I realised how easy it is in a place like Melbourne, for people to think God and religion is baggage they could do without. Tress and I had a magical weekend. We could conceivably plan and organise weekends of similar activities or interests for as long as we are healthy and working. In as much as we are basking in the sunshine of the present, it shouldn’t take much for one to ask if sunshine, wellness, carpe diem and all such pursuits and mantras are really over rated and can become lies used to lure us away from our creator. Beauty and good things should draw me to Him, not away…

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