The Scribbler

31 July 2012

Wonders and delights

Filed under: bike,run,swim,training,triathlon — The Scribbler @ 12:30
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Let’s start with a perfect English summer’s day. Blue skies, white fluffy clouds, green fields, golden sands, azure seas and driving north listening to the radio, thrilling to the build up to this magnificent day.

Then add in the bubbly brilliance of a best buddy, who it’s so easy to spend time with, who just fits like we’ve known each other forever.

Give us a van, a packet of jaffa cakes, a couple of bikes, some wetsuits, a fair bit of faffing and a mini road trip to a perfect, crystal clear lake surrounded by trees.

Throw in a swim in the sunshine, a few moments getting tangled in the weeds, then add in a good handful of growing confidence and breathing out underwater and not wanting to get out when we were done.

Swirl in a cycle round country lanes on fast smooth roads, not too hilly, but a good bit gusty until the glorious downhill, wind behind our backs return leg.

Faff about with a lengthy transition to pick up supplies and a brief photoshoot on the lawn before rounding out with a token run through grassy fields with the rain spattering our backs as we neared the finish.

Feed with copious amounts of soup, bread, cake and chat. Load up with books and hugs and send home happy.

I had a brilliant Friday tri training with my good friend Lesley in North Berwick. We always do have the best of times together. And it’s so nice to be able to do all that and it not feel like training – just fun.

I was home in plenty of time to watch the Olympic opening ceremony too. You may have noticed I’m a bit of an Olympics nut, so there was no cynicism here, but it went beyond my expectations.

I sort of thought I might have a tear in my eye, but I didn’t expect to find myself laughing out loud, gasping in wonder and marvelling at the mechanics of all the people, props, films, lighting, dancing, music – the whole shebang.

I loved the story telling and the fact that it wove in literature from Shakespeare to Peter Pan, that it reflected the darkness as well as the razzmataz. I loved the mini story reflecting the digital age and tapping into a juke box of great music. I loved the dancing and the cycling doves and the fact that so many ordinary people took part, that it made it a bit chaotic, and all the more joyous for not being precise and regimented.

I was also touched that it was brave enough to mix in quiet and thoughtful moments, to reflect the people who weren’t there to see this. They always play Abide with Me at the start of the Great North Run and it’s a tear-filled moment. Emile Sande took that melody and words to a new level of grace. So simple, so underplayed.

And I liked the way young people were involved all the way through right up until that final climactic moment of surprise and lighting the flame, which was, for me, absolutely perfect.


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