.....or a hornet in my headband. I had to laugh the other night, otherwise I may have taken the conversation far too seriously. I was accused of being an egoist, albeit indirectly. What the gentleman actually said was, blogging is a form of egoism, and as there was only one blogger in the room when he said it, it was obvious he was alluding to me. I referred him to the heading on my blog page - The Online Diary of an Octogenarian Runner - and told him that is exactly what it is, a diary to record my ageing antics. He countered by asking why I couldn't just use a notebook instead of publishing online?
|Roadside flowers in Hebden (Click pictures to enlarge)|
Well, he could be right, I suppose. If truth be known I'm rather proud of my online creation, something quite impossible to replicate in the pages of a notebook. Before any computer arrived on my desk I filled many a notebook with personal accounts of Munro-bagging and mountaineering activities and even stuck in an occasional picture by way of illustration. The scribbled contents were often used as skeletons on which to build magazine and newspaper articles, or stories for our club's 'Bootprint' publication. I still have them, gathering dust on shelves, print and pictures fading sadly, but they're all relics of a past era I rarely think about any more. I'm no longer a mountaineer. I've done all the Scottish Munros and many a classic climb. Nowadays I'm a runner, and cannot bear to think of a day when I'm not.
|Bridge over Hebden Beck|
In my dotage, blogging and running complement each other ideally and I derive great pleasure from both. To provide material for my blog I'm obliged to keep on running and producing pictures (yes, photography comes into the equation too), pastimes that keep me fit and active physically and mentally. I've never considered it a form of egotism, more an enjoyable way of staying healthy into my twilight years, getting out into places I love, enjoying the outdoor life, birds, flowers and all living creatures - then recording such things as best I can in glorious colour. I'll never willingly step back into the past, scribbling and sellotaping pictures into scrapbooks, daybooks, notebooks or diaries. I might be 83 but I'm no dinosaur.
|Looking across the Wharfe valley from Black Crag, Hebden|
I'm more than happy for my blog to serve as both diary and scrapbook. Friends, relatives, other runners, bloggers and fitness minded contemporaries world-wide can read it too - if they want. It saves me the bother of contacting folk individually! But those who look down their noses at users of social media - regarding such things as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc. as beneath their dignity - I reckon are as egotistic as anyone. It's not just us bloggers.......
So what have I been doing this past week? Struggling, that's what. Humid weather reduced me to a crawl at times and each day I returned home saturated with good, honest sweat. Never mind those 'Total Fitness' guys patting me on the back as they pattered past on Castle Hill, calling me the fittest man in Yorkshire. The local rabbit population grazing by the path didn't even bother to move, knowing full well in their tiny brains I'd no way of getting close enough to harm them. I felt knackered. Similarly, after an 8 mile run over Bycliffe I was almost staggering as I returned down the long wall into Hebden Ghyll. My new camera provided a wonderful excuse for extended stops to experiment with various settings.
All in all I achieved a hard fought 23 miles which, including 2,099ft of ascent, amounted to not such a bad week. I'd like to blame my struggles on humidity, rather than advancing years, and can't wait for some fresher weather to prove me right. It had better. After the Sunday morning service our Minister, Rev David Macha, insisted on going for a run with me sometime, "sooner rather than later" and adding "I'm serious". That frightened me a bit! So much so that in the afternoon I was down by the riverbank doing speedwork, trying to sharpen up with a dozen or so fast repetitions. David is a class runner and considerably younger than me but he can't ever claim to be as fast as.......Oh God, I'd better shut up or that chap will be onto me about egoism again.
|Six feet away on Castle Hill, I could hear these rabbits thinking "call yourself a runner?"|
|A flower that brings back a lot of memories, as does this song - wild mountain thyme|