Hello! As some of you will be aware I am one of SPEAK's fancy new regional support workers. I'd like to let you know about a little fundraising thing I'll be doing soon. On August 3rd I shall be running from Macclesfield to Sheffield (somewhere in the region of 33 miles, depending on which route I eventually settle on) to raise money for SPEAK. Should you wish to sponsor this slightly foolish undertaking you can donate on my give.net page here: https://my.give.net/thelongroadhome. Alternatively if you are feeling confident and would like to run a portion of the route with me (or the whole thing if you're up for it!) to raise some monies yourself, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know!
So how and why did I decide to do this, you ask. Well, it all began during the few weeks immediately following the end of my university course. This was a period of rapid and uncomfortable transition in many areas of my life- from studenthood to unemployment, from couplehood to singledom, from living in Sheffield on my own to living with my parents in Macclesfield. As a result of all this upheaval I found myself in a situation where it seemed that there was very little to do except go on lots of runs and think about life and the world and stuff (#PhilosophyGraduateLife haha). Perhaps inevitably these two preoccupations began to interact with one another and I got to thinking about the significance of the act of running to my current life situation, as well as what it meeeaaaans to run in today's crazy modern world more generally.
Originally I thought about running one of the many 'official' marathons that take place across the UK throughout the year, but as I started thinking about stuff more I decided that it would be better to run a route that had some kind of emotional/spiritual significance for me and related somehow to the issues I'd been thinking about. So I chose to run from the town where I was born and raised, Macclesfield, to Sheffield, the city where I went to university and which I now call home. I also decided that it would be nice to write, as 'companion pieces' to my run and its associated fundraising effort, a small number of posts for the SPEAK blog. The idea of these would be to articulate something of the content of my recent thoughts concerning the philosophy of running and its relation to life and the world and activism and whatnot. My first post in this little series, which goes by title of 'reclaiming distance', should be appearing here shortly!
Until then I shall leave you with a random quote from writer and distance running enthusiast John L. Parker: “Running to him was real; the way he did it the realest thing he knew. It was all joy and woe, hard as a diamond; it made him weary beyond comprehension. But it also made him free.”