*Written in June 2016, Sydney
Tonight I finished work and went and did something I didn’t want to do. I did the thing I didn’t want to do because I knew it would be good for me. By the end of doing said thing I had decided it was my new favourite thing.
This ‘thing’ was running barefoot in the dark across Bondi Beach. The cold (cold for here, 15 degrees is decidedly warm for back home) has recently set in and it’s dark when I leave the office at 5pm. Lately my favourite thing has been eating chocolate. Every. damn. day. I can’t remember the last day I didn’t eat any.
In light of my Chocolate Vs Running balance tipping the wrong way I decided as I worked that rain or no rain, ‘freezing’ or what. I would run after work.
I changed and went straight to the beach in my thongs (flip flops – whatever, I’m an Aussie these days). It was pitch black already. I started at the rocks on the South Side, taking off my thongs, I ran into the night with one in each hand.
Running in the sand isn’t easy. Especially when it’s wet and the air is dark. But I could see clearly enough to go forth. Onwards I went. As I ran as close to the water as I could without being caught out every time a wave came in I twigged; ‘this is how I have lived my life, always on the edge – as close as I can get to something and still get away with it’.
I found my feet and picked up pace, about half way across I still hadn’t seen a single human. But I had company. In front of me there must have been 100 or more seagulls dotted across my sandy path. I couldn’t swerve them. They stretched way up the beach, towards the road, where the sensible people were walking with the aid of street lights.
It was too late for the ‘gulls. I had hit my stride by now and thought ‘I’ll just run straight through them if they don’t move’. They moved alright, cascading upwards and away from me in haste taking my ‘I hope they don’t shit on me’ thought with them. If they did I didn’t notice. I kept running.
That moment in the dark would have made for a wonderful photo. A barefoot girl (woman?) running directly through the shade with a flock of birds framing her path. But no one was there to capture it, of course.
As I neared the end of the beach and skimmed my paw across the wall to give myself a touch-point for next time (I already knew there would be a next time) I turned back into the breeze thought to myself ‘I’m absolutely loving this. Why haven’t I done it before?’. Then my thought for this blog post came to me …
So many things in life are there for us to do yet we just don’t do them. Other things get in the way. Other things appear more appealing.
Why would I run through the dark when I can sit at home and watch Johnny Depp’s life-behind-closed-doors play out on E! News with 2 bars of Dairy Milk in one hand and a cuppa in the other?.
Here we must note; other things are not always the best or right things for us.
If I carry on eating junk (which tastes like heaven) every night and skipping my running (which I do love so dearly), I am going to end up feeling like a little pie before I know it. As anyone into their fitness knows – if you’re fit you keep at it. That is that.
Running the beach tonight gave me a fresh perspective. It took me completely by surprise, without me having any idea that it would. I thought at best I would feel refreshed and glad I had done it for the sake of doing it. Another box checked; ‘Didn’t eat chocolate today’. ‘Ran’. Oh, what a productive soul I had hoped to be!
But I knew within minutes of setting off that laying down my footsteps in the dark would be a new part of my routine during these ‘winter’ months.
Sometimes in your life you just need to look at things from a different way.
Sometimes you also have to do things because they are good for you. Because they benefit your physical health. Because they engage your mind. Ultimately because they make you feel good all round. Good. Good. Good!
Life’ing gets in the way of live’ing sometimes. We have so many options. Too many. How do we choose the best one? If I have learnt anything in the last few weeks, not months – weeks, it is that a little time to yourself can do you wonders.
Since moving to Bondi I have got up for I would say 6 out of 7 sunrises a week. I am on the beach by 630am at the latest. It is part of my life now. Seeing the day in from a place I would not want to exchange is a delight I will never tire of.
I have taken my attitude of ‘making the most of every day’ to a new level. I wholeheartedly decided to add more beauty, more time, more captured memories (courtesy of my Canon and my daily pics on Instagram) and more appreciation for this life. This decision to be a sunrise-seeker might seem something trivial. To me it is a big deal and something I will eagerly do for as long as Australia will have me.
If something crosses your mind to do but then leaves your thoughts again because you ‘can’t be bothered’ or ‘you’ll do it another day’, try and make sure that sometime soon you do actually do it. Ideas come into our minds for a reason – don’t ignore your itch for too long.
As I ran back across the (seagull-less) beach I couldn’t wait to get home to write. Just getting out and doing something new sparked my inspiration and here I am, tying up this post. If you have found your feel good – make the most of it and push yourself to the limits of appreciation. If something makes you feel brand new, whatever it is, get it done as often as you can.
And if you haven’t found something you sincerely love to do just yet, it will find you at some point, don’t worry. I am 31 in August and have always written, all my life, but recently it is taking over more and more of my thinking.
If you have a genuine connection with something it will find you in the end. No matter how old or young you may be, when the pieces of what you want to do start to click together you’ll just know.
Step away from the Dairy Milk.
(Image credit nightinfocus)