In August in France, everyone takes 2-3 weeks off for a summer holiday. Paris clears out, the cafés and restaurants close, and the few places that remain open shift their hours to whatever suits them best. As the temperatures climb the streets empty, and for the cost of your favourite boulangerie being shut, you’re guaranteed a seat on the metro. Only tourists and a few hardy souls remain, saying that they ‘enjoy the peace’ of une ville vide.
But as soon as September hits everyone floods back home, their skin two shades darker from the sun at La Rochelle, Provence or Sardinia. The summer is officially over, school is back on, and new projects kick off. Even though Autumn is around the corner, there is a renewed energy that comes after a period of relaxation.
I feel like I’m just returning from four months of holiday. The first part of this year was a rollercoaster: firstly singularly focused on my Boston goal, and then dealing with the aftermath and ‘what now?’ of having finished my challenge in a most underwhelming fashion. It wasn’t just one race, but the cumulation of 3.5 years of work which suddenly was behind me. I hadn’t realised quite how much running 10 marathons a year had become my normal until I wasn’t doing it anymore. Where was my direction?
From May through August I’ve been keeping myself busy, but still felt aimless throughout. Periodically I picked a new goal, until a few days or weeks later when it all felt pointless again. Nothing was big enough, everything was too big, I just didn’t know what I was doing. And I had to become okay with that, letting myself accept that I needed the time to reset.
But it’s now at a point where intellectually I know that I need something to properly focus on, even if emotionally I could quite happily just keep sitting on the couch and chilling out. This September is my rentrée.
You heard it here first: I’m coming back. There is no big picture yet, but the first step is simply to go through the motions, knowing that the desire and willpower will return the more I do so. I have plans, and I am going to see them through.
The first is with this blog: I couldn’t even think about writing on here without feeling sick to my stomach (who knows why), but I also know how cathartic and helpful it is to write down experiences and piece together the lessons along the way. And there have been plenty of fun things happening since Boston in April which I will be writing up over the next week or two – get ready for a deluge of posts!
Next is with my running – but I’ll share that with you in a bit. Safe to say I’ve got a PB which desperately needs to be improved, and as of today I’m giving myself 8 weeks to smash it out of the park. That too is a case of putting in the daily work, and knowing that my body will adapt and wake up again after months of very low mileage.
September in Australia is the start of spring, and it feels like I’m coming out of my cocoon. Excitement is building!
Stay silly, love lots and keep on running 🏃♀️