The Longest Day

When you’re running over Mt Iron and you strike the view (I run from the back to front to ensure that experience), and it almost brings you to tears, and it’s 9:40pm – you know it’s close to the longest day. After my well-documented ankle sprain, I have finally returned to regular exercise. It’s amazing how not having something makes you appreciate it so much more. I know we all know this. But when the thing that you’re missing is something that you’d been resisting previously, the cliché really comes alive.

All year I’d been exercising sporadically. I wasn’t avoiding it, I was just having trouble getting into a rythym. Since recovering from the sprain; not only have I rediscovered my love of swimming, but I’m simply having no trouble motivating myself to get out there. I’m sure the fact that it’s summer helps, but the weather is always conducive to exercise here. I’m now running cycling and swimming and it’s all great fun. I already appreciated this great place that I live, but getting out and being in amongst it all is really what it’s all about. I must admit I really enjoy how infrequently I encounter anyone else on these expeditions.

A plan I’m going to enact soon is to walk around my favourite running routes with a camera so I can try to capture what I’m talking about. Watch this space..

What are you doing for Christmas? Being a non-drinking, non-christian, non-present-giving vegetarian.. I tend to find the day rather unappealing. Mum and her husband Roy are up here, so I’ll certainly spend some time with them, but, you know, I think it might be a really good day to go for a run.

2 thoughts on “The Longest Day

  1. updoc says:

    Feliz Navidad Chris y Prospero Año Nuevo. You are indeed a lucky person to live in such a beautiful environment, and how fortunate you are to spend your summer holidays in such a great location and get to call it, at the same time, home. I must confess that white Chritmases make a lot more sense. Christmas carols for one thing start to make a lot more sense. I have been ice skating and skiing over here. Yet the Kiwi in me has a soft spot for summer Christmases: blooming pohutukawa, lazing on the beach, running and cycling in the hills, long summer days and warm nights.

    I am spending Christmas Day in Habana, though you may know it as Havana. I have always wanted to come here and consider myself fortunate to have experienced it before Fidel moves to greener pastures. It is an intoxicating city. It reminds me of New Orleans. There is music everywhere and people dancing. And my goodness can they dance. Not having any dancing ability whatsoever, it is an amazing experience to watch them dance and see how naturally it comes to them.

    The thing you notice about Habana is that everything is run-down. The buildings are impressive but almost inariably delapidated. At night the streets are very dark as there is hardly any road lighting. Everyone earns the same wage, whether they are a surgeon or a raod cleaner. There is socialist propaganda everywhere and yet everyone is trying to survive through illegal means. People selling Havana cigars are everywhere. Most clubs charge 10 pesos (about twenty dollars) for entry but thereafter it is an open bar. I have drunk so much rum I think it is taking over my bloodstream. It is quite sad to see these gorgeous and often young girls offering their services just so that they can survive. The 10 pesos cover charge is a month´s wages for them. No one is allowed to leave the island, and though education and health are free, education is not a gateway to higher wages and medicine is in short supply. It seems spiteful on the part of the States to maintain their trade blockade, but when has US foreign policy ever been based on justice? It really does make you appreciate what you have yet, at the same time, one is struck by the thought that this way of life is the same for everyone over here and they know of no other way. All the smiles you encounter are not just forced for the tourist dollar. There is joy on the faces and music forms such a big part of that joy. It´s intoxicating to walk down the streets and watch these great big cars from the 50s on their last legs splutter by, people hanging from balconies, and music coming from all around. You find yourself not so much walking down the street as swaying.

    So all the very best for your holidays Chris and I wish you continued success in 2006. (Well done on your promotion by the way)

    PS As a meat eater, I like the analogy with religion. Ours is not to reason why… There is too much judging in the world and not enough accepting, but yet I still struggle as to see how anyone can enjoy the music of Michael Bolton. Some mysteries in life will forever remain unsolved. One answer remains the best to all such personal questions (even for the great mulleted one I guess): I enjoy it. Where´s the harm in that?

  2. woman wandering says:

    I’m like a moth to the flame with your blog … I adore the landscapes you write of.

    Thanks 🙂

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