I wake up. I wriggle my toes and roll around for a while. I get dressed in my one set of clothes, hoping that yesterday’s rain and sweat have dried. I eat breakfast, and lots of it. I cram my stuff back into my rucksack, wondering why things never quite slot together in the same as they did the day before. I lace my trainers up and then I run. I run for a few hours, slowly plodding away, stopping regularly to take a picture or consult the map or talk to the camera.
All I have to do is run. Every single day. It’s an odd feeling and one I haven’t quite got my head around yet. The whole day is wide open, its sole purpose to cover X amount of miles and complete the related tasks of eating and sleeping. It makes it a lot harder to find an excuse for wanting to stop. I’m usually notoriously slack, procrastinating from runs in favour of pretty much anything else and often turning around several miles too soon on out and back training runs. Take away the distractions though and carrying on running starts to feel pretty easy. I might only be a week in, but so far I haven’t once thought, “I want to stop running now”.
My first week of adventuring hasn’t quite been as expected, but that was inevitable given that my imaginings of what an adventure might look like included mesmerising views, lush open spaces and nights spent outside under the stars and under canvas. Instead, I started my adventure in Greenwich and went on to visit the glitzy lights of Dartford, Gravesend, Maidstone, Medway, Sittingbourne, running through a week of particularly dreary November weather.
I’m enjoying it though; the slow pace of life, slowly shuffling through mile after mile, the simplicity of it all. Reaching the seaside is exciting enough when it’s only taken a couple of hours in a car to get there. But today, when I finally arrived at a stretch of coast a few miles from Whitby, having travelled for a week and covered eighty miles under my own steam to get there… that was a whole different kind of wonderful.
The main thing I’ve discovered this week though is that doing a thing is a whole lot less scary than thinking about doing a thing, so you might as well just do it.