2014 has now dawned and thus far it’s an extremely wet and windy year! A run outside would have been a lovely idea under normal circumstances but, with the weather SO inclement, I chose to run on the machine instead of braving a cold shower outside.
To celebrate the New Year though I decided to go a little further than normal. Initially I thought that 7 miles would be appropriate, but as the run progressed (hard work at 7 mph) I thought that maybe five miles would suffice.
We’d had a series of house guests from the 18th December onwards, across what turned out to be a truly FAB Christmas!
Nigel & Kristin flew in from Seattle and stayed right through, my Mum & Dad for almost a week, Debbie & John for five nights (Debbie being my ‘knight in shining armour’ on the catering front!) and Kate & Alex drove down from North Wales to stay for one night. In addition to this Michael & Jenny came from Wiltshire on Boxing Day and brought Christopher, Philip, Cherry & Helen with them. Much fun was had!
We ate and drank really well but not to excess, except in the tea department where we eventually ran out of Twinings Earl Grey, something that has probably not happened in my household for 20 years!
We played a lot of guitar too! My guitar experiment is just coming up to its 4th anniversary and the cumulative effort really paid off over Christmas.
The house finally emptied yesterday morning, when I took Nigel & Kristin back to the airport, and I spent the rest of the day tidying up and washing linen. Ordered calm (and fresh supplies of Earl Grey) only returned yesterday evening!
Back on the running machine, in one of my rambling cognitive excursions, I started thinking about ‘call options‘. This is essentially a financial instrument used by City folk, but I quite like the general idea behind it.
In my version, the effort put in to learning and honing a new skill allows you to use that skill at some point in the future, thus exercising the option. You don’t have to use it, but you have essentially bought a call option which means that you can, if you choose… your time and effort was the price.
For example my daily effort in developing my guitar-playing skills over the last four years allowed me to play properly alongside my brother (who is a totally amazing guitar player!) for the first time ever in the 38 or so years I have played… I didn’t have to (and I’m still not brilliant), but it was fantastic to have that option.
Likewise, by designing and running short training courses over the last few years I essentially created a call option that made it possible for me to lecture at UCL and Brighton Business School last year… whilst the Fellowship of Higher Education course that I start in January buys me further options down the line.
In running terms, by putting in the hard work to run five miles I was essentially buying a call option to run a little further, say to seven miles, if I were so inclined. Two miles is a short run on its own, but tacked on to five miles it makes for a decent run for New Year’s Day.
In the end the lure of being able to write about this slightly tenuous argument was really what finally persuaded me to exercise the call option and run the additional two miles.
So a great start to 2014 with 7.1 miles in one hour… I sense that this year is going to be pretty hard work all round, but hopefully more rewarding as a result.
Of course, having put in more time and effort on the running machine than normal, I then needed to at least try to alleviate the potential after effects in my musculature… thus I didn’t manage to avoid the cold shower after all!
Happy New Year to you all! I hope that it’s a FAB one!