Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos. ~Don Kardong
As I ran past Galway Golf Course on Saturday morning, through the wind and the cold, I wondered about all the thousands of rounds of golf that had been played there over the years. So much human and sporting drama must have been played out over those 18 holes. Having played a little golf myself many years ago, I know that many golfers can take their sport seriously – just as I’m aware that many runners live and breathe theirs. The ground, over which that course was built, has no doubt, witnessed great joy as well as some disapointment. We think of our pastimes as being so very important, even when we know at the same time, in our hearts, that they are not.
Just when I was about to accuse myself of getting too wrapped up in training – for about the fiftieth time – I lightened up a little and cut myself some extra slack. Perhaps, after all, it’s possible to know that all of this is unimportant and still remain enjoyably engaged. There have been signs in the past that I’ve been in danger of losing the plot – of slipping into a trough of self-important seriousness. A couple of years ago, I stood in the canteen at work to celebrate the departure of a friend and colleague. A beautiful cake was divided-up and passed around. It looked gorgeous and yet I refused my share, because I was ‘in training’. On another occasion I sat drinking a Diet Coke in a bar and refused a bag of Tayto crisps for much the same reason, and yet I was in the company of an international cross-country runner who was enjoying a few quiet pints. Who was I kidding?
I think Don Kardong had it about right, although, for me, it’s all about the crisps.