‘Where the hell are you Simon?’
It’s a line that features right at the start of the 1979 Pink Floyd track ‘Vera’ but in fact comes from the 1969 film ‘The Battle of Britain’ – One of the truly great British War Films IMO. Anyway, it’s a lyric that always gets me thinking - especially when times are tough or if I’m feeling a bit out of sorts like I have been lately.
You see, part of my recent dilemma has been whether fatigue is good old-fashioned wear and tear, old age or remnants of the Guillain-Barre Syndrome that makes some of my days grind to a dead halt. It’s crazy as some days it feels like I’m flying and back to the old Rory days, pre-body anaesthesia. And if I’m honest, yes it does cheese me off, but how much I can blame that feeling on to my ‘outside influences’ is debateable and actually irrelevant as I can only now work with what I’ve got and I accepted that, if with somewhat gritted teeth.
I reached my ‘acceptance’ in 2016.
Can’t say it’s been easy but looking back I’ve had to accept many things over the years. At an early age I ‘accepted’ I’d never be a professional footballer, a brain-surgeon or a cross-channel swimmer. My mother said she’d found my old school reports that made poor reading. Shucks eh? But in my favour, I have one big advantage - I know what I’m good at, what I really like doing and give things 100%.
What has become of you?
And that’s been my ‘Modus Operandi’. It’s not always a good thing as it means that sometimes it’s hard to find the brakes when things are proceeding headlong in the wrong direction, but on the whole, it’s brought me a more than satisfying level of success. I can hardly look back and say I haven’t had value for money, can I? And from what I have done, I can easily say that I know exactly where and who I am.
The fascinating thing is that many people I meet haven’t got the same level of location or proprioception. They are lost. Maybe the Global Positioning System could crack people’s psychological predicament as well as their location – what an invention but imagine that, being told how you feel – I mean, how would you feel about that?
And yet, where are you today? Drowning in data, unsure of what to do for the best? Scared of making the wrong decision. Scared of making the right decision. It’s a complete minefield. Knowing what to ‘like’, ‘unlike’, ‘friend’, ‘unfriend’, ‘trust’ a lottery one you feel you can never win.
But you already have the winning ticket, if you find ‘acceptance’. It’s an instant win – 90% complete with just 10% needed to conquer anything you put your mind to.
I do hope you understand where I’m coming from today. As even if today’s rubbish, it doesn’t matter as tomorrow will be slightly better and the day after hopefully better still – just give it a go and build on whatever solid foundation you can find however rocky it might feel as that’s what I’m doing… ’Does anybody else here feel the way I do?’
1,045 Marathons - 254 Ultras - 9 Guinness World Records - 15 Marathon des Sables