Chapter 5 | Weather The Storm

moody leaves

The biggest change around me at the moment is that the world is becoming progressively quieter, the Heath has probably 70% fewer people, if not even fewer, compared to the first two days of lockdown. This is another true reflection to me about life and our fast reactions to impulse. At the beginning of lockdown, all of a sudden, everyone was out, even those that never habitually went out for a walk.

Now however it’s so much quieter. One has to take into account that the weather was warm, bright and light last week but recently things have cooled down significantly out there – good weather we play, bad weather we stay…. Whenever I see a person ‘in action’ in bad weather, it can be golf, a run, a walk or cycling – I have respect for them.

There is always that little voice inside of me, telling me that I want to be ‘one of those people’. I never wanted to be a ‘good weather person’. My first real decision about weather came 9 years ago, I found I was applauding myself for ‘surviving’ yet another winter in London, my 10th I thought proudly! Then I started to think… ‘surviving’ a whole season in a country that I have chosen to make my home! What the hell?! That day, I made a firm decision that I would never complain about the weather again, that instead I would go out and buy proper clothes to combat the elements and instead that I would ‘live’ throughout my winters and that I would be a ‘winter walker and runner’ – all seasons.

Yes, I made a decision to leave cycling and golf for summers – as truth be told I just don’t enjoy them in the cold and wet. I like being on the move, in constant motion – there’s a difference. That was one of the greatest decisions of my life, it extended my range and I started to fall in love with solitude runs on the heath and in the mountains. A free run in the cold makes you feel as if you can conquer anything, you are literally not fazed by the weather at all.

Every day is bright in its own way regardless of the weather. I have to admit, I have a ‘weather index’ for my friends, it’s a little personal joke that makes me giggle (and no, I am not going to tell you in what index you fall, you can work that out for yourself). Now this is the deal; when I am feeling strong and calm in myself and when I have energy, I have time and space for all my friends – of all weathers, but when I am not feeling strong, neither calm nor have energy then I don’t have the capacity for people with ‘extreme weather conditions’… Nelson Mandela, Ghandi – those people are the ones to aspire to, those are the leaders in the world that have enormous capacity, compassion, empathy and selfless energy. That is beyond me, but in that also lies beauty, it reminds me how much work I have left to do in ‘my personal garden’, how every day I can try a bit better.

It all comes down to energy at the end: what gives me, what saps me…

I am not going to elaborate now, however, yesterday was one of my most efficient, productive, mental days. The team and I managed to produce great work, we have literally ‘nailed it’… and yet, at the end of the day, although I felt good, my soul was not alive. Perhaps for me, the greatest essence of being content lies somehow more in the spiritual and physical field. Probably worth adding here, I did not wake up early on Monday or Tuesday, neither did I train… 2 possible key ingredients.

Today, I did wake-up early and I have done my training – and I can with all honesty say that I am already more ‘settled in myself’ than yesterday. I am feeling present, I don’t feel anxious and I have a sense of ‘space’…

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