Seeing the New Year in Cornish Style.
|New Year’s dip (12°c)|
I didn’t think about Christmas at all this year. It crept up on me like no one’s business. Suddenly, ’twas Christmas Eve, and the house was quiet and yes, even the resident mouse was hiding somewhere. An empty suitcase needed packing and then it was time for the Great Christmas Getaway, this time, to Chepstow – to spend a couple of easy days with girlfriends in a cosy Welsh cottage in the middle of a whole load of fields and not a lot else.
As it turned out, Christmas 2015 was entirely unexpectedly joyful with its days filled with cycling, sea swimming, trail running, family word games and dancing to Mr Brightside in said cottage with the girls – yes, exactly like Cameron Diaz in The Holiday.
In the unplanned days that passed between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day, I reconnected with nature in the muddiest sense possible, laughed a lot, drunk an entire bottle of Bristol’s finest Sherry and got battered by some waves in my swimsuit.
Perfectly Imperfect 2015 – A Philosophical Strava Moment
Come New Years Eve, my window of opportunity to make up the arbitrary round number of 300 Strava running miles for 2015 had passed. I’d spent the day on a mountain bike instead, with mud in my eyeballs, splattering through puddles.
I realise now, having just entered my third Strava calendar year, that it swallows up your annual milage into an ‘All-Time ‘ distance pool anyway, so the idea of rounding up the miles is entirely pointless, serving only to satisfy a personal sense of dotting i’s and crossing t’s.
In this way, running out of time to cram in those extra miles was perfectly imperfect, a fitting end to a challenging year, but one that’s akin to an obstacle course from which you emerge from with a great medal slung around your neck and satisfyingly achy limbs. It was a year of change, forcing me face to face with some of the finer questions in life. Fittingly, it was also the year of my first Ironman, which as if by some sort of analogy magic, was also a long journey through which I conquered fears and became the fittest I have ever been in my life. Five months on, I still have the bike thighs to show for it. Never have I been prouder to not be able to get into my skinny jeans.
When I woke up this morning to a brand new year, the rain was hammering against the window – the planned New Year’s sea swim suddenly didn’t seem so inviting. Nevertheless, within the hour I was stood on the beach with a willing friend ready to embrace the wild sea in my cozzie.
I nestled my feet into the wet sand, and took a few deep breaths with a massive grin on my face. I screamed something about 2016 and then ducked under to get swallowed by a crazily strong wave. Swirling sand and sea engulfed me and I emerged breathless and refreshed – ready for a new year of fun, including a couple of winter Audaxs, the Paris Marathon and cycle back from Paris, plus a warm-up sprint distance triathlon in April, a couple of qualifier triathlons in May, and a half Iron distance in June. If I’m lucky, some wild camping and cycling adventures on UK shores, and getting proper muddy at least once a month. <B