A Lesson in How to Adapt and Overcome

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Since my engagement with the West Highland Way Race in June there has been a serious lack of training from Yours Truly.

Was I injured? No.
Was I ill? No.

Quite surprisingly I was fit enough to run within days of my withdrawal from the race after 83 miles. Despite failing to finish the race I think my swift recovery is testament to the six months of solid, hardcore training I'd committed to since December last year. The reason for me not actually lacing on a pair of running shoes has been purely a lack of motivation.

Without a race planned, without a boxing match to prepare for, without any kind of sporting event in the pipeline, training feels like nothing more than going out the door for going out the door's sake or going to the gym for going to the gym's sake. Even the attraction of the early day MILFs that proliferate David Lloyd Epsom, with their spray tans and expensive, matching gym wear has not been enough to make me a regular attendee in the bear pit.

On top of this lack of motivation was a brutally chaotic domestic situation that I won't air publicly here. But on the horizon was a planned holiday on the Isle of Arran with Mrs Mac. For me that was the golden prize, the pound coin stuck in the pile of dog shit you just stepped in, missing the last train to discover the only other stranded passenger is Kelly Brook....you get the idea, huh?

So the day came, Saturday, 27th July. The car was loaded to the brim with bags, the dog was fed and watered and crammed into the back seat, Mrs Mac had even created an itinerary that had a built in fail safe in the event of traffic congestion en route to Ardrossan where we were to catch the ferry to Brodick.

We jump in the motor, sunglasses on, the words of Cliff Richards 'Summer Holiday' being sung from the back seat by Wee Hannah and her pal, Laura, and we're off on our holiday.

Ten miles or so later we're cruising along a country road heading westward and there's a slight hiss, the engine dies, the car slows to a halt and Mrs Mac says:

'I've lost power.'

No shit, Sherlock.

Thank fuck for fail safe itineraries.

Mrs Mac suggests that I have a look under the bonnet and rectify the problem. That's about as much use as presenting me with a patient with a brain injury and asking me to carry out sub cranial surgery.

Quick as a flash she's out of the motor, instructing me to unload the car and on the phone to her brother who is sat at home ten miles away. At this point he was unaware he was about to drive two adults, two young girls, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and a shit load of luggage to Ardrossan ferry terminal.

'What are we gonna do about your motor?' I ask Mrs Mac.

'Bollocks to it,' she says. 'It can stay here til we get back, I'm going on my holiday.'

Fast forward a couple of hours and we're in Brodick on Arran having arrived as foot passengers. 

'What the fuck are we gonna do now?' I ask. 'We've got enough luggage to open a fuckin' suitcase shop and no wheels.'

'Wait here you lemon,' she says, and scoots off into the distance like Vanessa Feltz on her way to an eat all you can lunch deal.

20 minutes later a cab pulls up with Mrs Mac is in the passenger seat. 'Chuck the bags in the boot and get in,' she says. 'I've got us a taxi to the cottage and I've  hired a motor that we're picking up on Monday.'

And that, Dear Reader, is an example of how to adapt and overcome, how to make the best of a rapidly deteriorating situation, how to extract the pound coin from the pile of shit you just stepped in.

But I started this blog post off with a sorry tale of a lack of motivation and no training....what the fuck has that got to do with a holiday on Arran?

Return soon, Dear Reader and I'll explain how Goat Fell on a sunny day can reignite one's passion for running and how being on the Isle of Arran, with enough luggage to open a suitcase shop, and having returned your hire car can result in you being in bed for a week with an injured back.

At least I've had a decent reason for not training.