13 February 2008

Keep on running

Thick fog and icy roads this morning - Huw remarked yesterday as we ran round the Royal Parks that it seemed like summer, but it's definitely winter this morning. The 0711 slipped into the station as I walked from the car park, completely obscured from view and the sound of its passage muffled. Still, I couldn't have run for it as I had too much marmalade to carry. Before we reached Reading a message had come to my phone advising me of severe delays to the Circle Line, so this is clearly going to be a great journey to work.
I spent more time yesterday than I should have done contacting my INTA friends to suggest they might like to sign up for the 10K race that Marek and I have found in Berlin on 18 May. This produces several replies from people I don't hear from very often. Charles in South Africa is about to retire and therefore not attending INTA. Instead he is taking his running to new levels - the Antarctic Marathon in March, then his tenth Two Oceans which qualifies him for guaranteed entries for life. That's a great sort of retirement: I hope that if ever I get into a position to contemplate retirement I can do likewise.
To many of my colleagues, and I should add (because there is a distinction to be drawn), friends at the office I am defined by my running. Perhaps it would be better to be considered first and foremost as an intellectual property lawyer, but I think I'd prefer being a runner anyway. However, the awful realisation struck me yesterday that what defines me is neither my profession nor my sport (or obsession, as some would have it). It's my status as a commuter: it's my journey to and from work that is the defining feature of my life.
Now, this will probably come as little surprise to even the most casual reader of this blog. I have followed in the footsteps of Tiresias (the modern one, that is, not the original), and was doing so before I discovered blogging, although my Notes from Overground are not as well-known as his (not yet, anyway). But the notion that this part of my daily routine has become so all-consuming is discomforting. If you're looking for meaning in what you do in your life, the realisation that this is such a large part of it comes as a bit of a let-down.

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