I’ll drink tea while looking at red gates, anytime!

“If only worry could make a change, then suddenly our world would take new shape.” One of my favourite lines by Sleeping At Last.

Yesterday, I talked to my brother Adrian and his wife Amy for the first time since I’ve been here. They asked me how I was enjoying everything. I told them that it has been very “simple”. I’m use to having BIG things that get me all worked up and excited. But the fact is that most of the things occurring during my day are fairly simplistic… and I am finding it all very liberating.

It is amazing how simple things like walks, tea, books, trees, hills, trains, rivers, streams, red gates and warm sheets can bring so much pleasure when they are actually embraced.

I’ve found myself at certain times so caught up in meaningless conversations, trifles and the BIG PICTURE mentality that I have lost what is immediately in front of me. I have been so focused on that, that I’ve completely missed this.

I’ll drink tea while looking at red gates, anytime!

With that said, it was another lovely weekend here filled with lots of running, reading, writing and tea.

Also, I have a new Sunday tradition: warming-up and cheering the Shipley Junior Football team. Will (the one making the funny face while doing a quad stretch) plays on the U16 team and I talked to his coach during his first match and his coach (Simon) was really keen on having me train the team Saturdays and then warm them up on Sundays before their game.

I’ve been helping the lads get into a more dynamic warm-up before their Sunday matches. Since the warm-up only takes 15 minutes I spend the rest of the game cheering and taking pictures with my new camera. I put up a quick site yesterday and will post a bunch of pictures from the rest of my stay here:

Photography Website

This weekend I’m headed to Manchester for a few days. I’m meeting up with a couple of my Canadian friends, but before we go check out the city I’ll be running in the Norther Athletic 6 Stage Relay. We have 6 guys from Airedale Athletics each responsible for running 5.6 kilometers as fast as they can. The goal is to place in the top 15 overall teams, which would give us the birth to Nationals a few weeks later.

Despite the fact that I have only done 2 workouts I’m really excited to start competing in a different setting.

Yesterday I had a good 16 mile long run on the canal averaging 6 minute miles the whole way. A couple days before that I was up to Leeds Met University (same place where Seb Coe use to go for some of his physiology testing) doing my first workout under the guidance of Brian Scobie. It was cold and windy and we decided to do 10 quarters with 200 meters (50-55seconds) jog for recovery. The 68-69 second laps were very humbling. It is strange to think that with 90 seconds recovery I averaged 10 seconds faster than that in May.

With the exception of running with Matt (a buddy that works at the college) once a week, I have been doing all my runs solo. On some days it’s a bit tough but overall it’s been good for me. I still have some 900 miles to run but I’m just going to take it one mile at a time…

Categories: bleak and beautiful


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3 Comments on “I’ll drink tea while looking at red gates, anytime!”

  1. Luch
    September 27, 2010 at 11:52 am #


    these are priceless every day reflections that ennoble the soul, mind and body. Thanks for taking time to walk us through the joy of living. As one of your favourite authors (and mine) said, ‘one day I was surprised by Joy!! Seems to me that is what you are experiencing–joy!!

  2. Linda
    September 27, 2010 at 1:48 pm #

    Very nice Mike…We should all take something away from this and enjoy those simple pleasures we take for granted…your line is so true and very right!

    I hope the two guys you are hooking up with are Scott and Jorge…we took Scotty to the airport Saturday night, I was a good mom and barely shed a tear (til I got home!). He is so pumped for a great adventure…my only words of wisdom, “remember to look the other way when you cross the street”.

    Keep ’em coming!


  3. September 27, 2010 at 8:39 pm #

    @Linda – I still look the wrong way! Thanks for reading.

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