Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Long Hiatus - Could I really be back?


It's been a long time.  

My last post was back in 2015 and my last run was a year earlier.  

There was a time when I ran and posted constantly - and enjoyed many fun runs, marathons, park runs and street races, but in 2014 I sustained a bad knee injury that put me off the track and road for a long time.

In truth, I thought I wouldn't run again.  My knee was so sore that I could hardly sleep without discomfort - driving was a pain.  Occasionally I would trot a bit just to see if, by miracle, the knee came back of it's own accord, but the pain would emerge after 100 metres.

I went to see a knee specialist who told me I had two options - 1) key-hole surgery 2) more extensive surgery.  Neither, he said, would guarantee any success - and running was definitely out of the equation.

And then - by total chance, I went to see a 'healer'.  This man, John Behan, was reportedly a 'seventh-son-of-a-seventh son'!  He had the 'healing power'.

I went with scepticism, but whatever the man did had me up and running within an hour....I KID YOU NOT!

Having said that - this was about a year ago - and I still didn't push on.  But slowly, I returned to walking and then, hey presto, today I took the plunge and ran for 20 minutes.

It's a start - and I'm excited about it.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

My idea of God, on the week when Stephen Fry-ed it up...

Does God exist?  

Imagine four men at a dinner table, each blindfolded.  One tastes turkey and swears that it's chicken. Another tastes chicken and says he believes it to be turkey.  The third eats lamb and thinks that it is beef, but he is not sure and begs for us to tell him.  The fourth refuses to eat what he can't see.

Neither of these men are fully aware.  The first three at least get to eat.  The first two are sated, despite being wrong.  The third spends dinner time being anxious and doesn't enjoy his food.  The fourth feels principled, but hungry.

Religion is that blind food test. God may be chicken, lamb, turkey or any other kind of meat, but at least he will fill those who are hungry enough to blindly eat.  

Does language matter?

God is also a three letter word.  Someone at some time in history had to label the concept.  Once you name it, you limit it to human experience - and if God exists at all then surely it is in a realm far beyond human experience.  The ancient Japaneses text, the Tao Te Ching, starts by saying that the 'Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao'.  For this, you can read:  'The God that people speak of is only a limited version of God'.  In other words, we cannot describe this in words.

So language does matter, but what matters more is the knowledge that language is limited.  

How language is killing God.

Speak to most people of a reality beyond language and you will get some funny looks.  Yet, I bet if you ask the holiest and wisest priest or Rabbi to describe heaven then you will only hear vague and evasive answers.  The more foolish of them will be the clearest.  Vague and evasive language does not point to the falsity of heaven, but rather to the pointlessness of language when it comes to describing that which cannot be experienced in human terms. 

It is better to be vague and evasive that being certain as far as describing God.  A certainty of language is simply false language when describing that which cannot be described.  

These days atheists are pitted against 'believers' in a battle of reason versus passion.  This type of argument is pure theatre and hardly serves a human being on his or her journey.  For starters, which God are atheists meant to actually argue against?  The God that created the world in seven days, or the divinity that exists within each of us?  The world is a complex and nuanced place and there are many different concepts of God, many different religions and many different spiritual journeys.  God is not a man with a white beard, sitting on a cloud. 

There may be God, there certainly is Good.

While we live in this world we will never know for certain whether a 'next world' exists.  So why worry about this?  What we do know for certain is that 'Good' exists.  As does 'evil'.  You may call 'Good' God, and you can call Evil 'Satan', who cares - it's only language, if it helps you to taste chicken when it may be turkey then go ahead and eat.
Good can be described as 'that which serves for the better of all', evil is 'that which does good to none'.  Everything that falls between these two absolutes can be a mix of good and evil and herein lies the conundrum of human life - you decide.  In Christian terms, you were give free will.  In the more clear-cut cases it is easy - choose that which does good to all. However, there are times when you must choose that which does most good, but does harm to some - you will need to justify this to yourself and live with the decision.  At times, you will choose that which does good to none - you'll do this because you are human and deeply flawed, and this will hurt you immensely.  

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Since I can't run.

I've been absent from running since last February, and am still injured (physio reckons it will take another 2-3 months of rehab).  Since I can't run, or blog about running, here's a poem I've written about being injured and not running!

Since I can't run,
I'll watch my boy learn how to walk.
The waddle.
Then run.
I'll listen to him wah.
Then woggle.
Then word.
I'll fit his first shoes on his feet.
And chase him out the door with his unpaid-for clarks.

I'll step him up to bed, one step at a time.
And step down again silently an hour later.
And up again five minutes later.

Since I can't run I'll pass each animated phase:
First Raa Raa, then Olly, then Fireman Sam.
I'll read him every Thomas book that ever was written.
Then I'll read them all again.

We'll visit our neighbours pony and feed him carrots and apples.
And clunks of grass.

We'll laugh like eejits while I purse wind against his neck.
Then I'll worry about paying his keep,
When I know that he'd live in a cave beside us.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Crocked Runner Needs Advice on Other Ways of Keeping Fit!

Happier running times with the brothers...

Since starting this blog back in 2010 this has been the longest period of non-posting.  It's also been the longest period of non-running, and of course both are inextricably linked.  I've been too fed up of this situation to even post about the state of my injured leg.
As is often the case with the male of the species, I've been guilty of putting my head in the sand and hoping the knee problem would sort itself out.  I've also been flat out with work - running my own business now really does mean that 'time' means money!  
There were two physio visits... one convinced me that the swelling would go down and I'd be back running in a month (swelling went down but I can hardly walk upstairs three months later).  The other physio directed me towards a doctor who would refer me for an MRI scan to see what exactly was wrong, and what could be done.   And that's where we are at right now - awaiting a scan.
In the meantime, I've lost a lot of fitness and it has dragged me down.  What to do when you can't run or cycle?  Press-ups and sit-ups don't really cut the mustard for me....
 I may well need some kind of surgery to sort this out, which means that I may be looking at the rest of the year without a run.  Still, I'm a little closer to the scan, so it's time to get positive.  Any ideas on ways to keep fit in the meantime that doesn't involve use of the knee

Sunday, February 9, 2014

First Three Pints, and a Damn Injury.

The dreaded medial ligament...

I've not blogged for nearly two weeks, though much has happened, and at the same time, little has happened!
First of all, I took a tumble on the treadmill on Tuesday and ended up damaging my medial ligament in the left knee... an old injury and an extremely annoying one.  How could this have happened on a treadmill, I hear you ask?  God only knows... a momentary lapse in concentration and I stepped on to the non-moving part of the treadmill and took a bad tumble.  I'll be out of action for another couple of weeks (serves me right to use the treadmill instead of the road, but the weather has been terrible).

Then, on the following Saturday, I drank the first three of my twenty-four pints for the year... Tasty they were too.  I was in the good company of Benny, while we watched England play France in the Six Nations.  We put a little wager on England to win after they had fallen two tries down and would have collected good money had a fiendish Frenchman not touched down in the very last minute.  Mugs game that aul gamblin'. 

It is frustrating not to be able to get out and run, but I'm due a visit to the physio tomorrow and hopefully that will accelerate progress.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Swirling Wind.

It's wild out here in the west.  Trees are toppling like dominoes, it's bordering the ridiculous.  I did manage to get out on the road a few days last week in slightly stiller weather.  Nothing too strenuous - a leisurely 6 miler and a stroll of a four miler.  An then a gap while I took the cowards route of staying in curled up by the fire rather than getting out into the wilds. 
My vegetarian diet is still on track - as is the 24 pint plan.  So far I haven't had a pint at all, and I'm aiming to see January well gone before I even think of lifting Arthur's sweet tonic to my lips.  
We've been busy playing... 'drama' that is... Prior to the Christmas break I wrote and directed a comic 'panto' called 'Enda Lofa & Róisín Bán', and God knows we had some craic performing.  We took the play on the road this weekend to Gaoth Dobhair in beautiful Donegal, as our band 'Rís' were performing at the Cabaret.  Bhí an-time go deo againn, mar a bhíonn i gcónaí. 
Back to the 'running blog' side of things:  must do better, must not be a coward!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Going Veggie, Back Running, and Back to 24 Pint Plan!

Big Ron and I take a 'selfie' after the Park Run 5k

2014 has started with a ferocious bang.  Storms have lashed the west coast of Ireland - flooding the dock area in Galway, uprooting concrete promenades along Salthill, Spidéal and further west, and causing untold damage right around the country.  Doooomsday scenario!
Time for a change.
So, I'm going veggie for 2014:  no meat, poultry or fish!   
And, I'm going back to the 24 pint plan... that's right, circle the year on a tiny alcohol allowance of only 24 pints of Guinness!
On top of this I mean to get back running in a meaningful way.  To emphasise the point Big Ron and I left the house at 7.30am on Saturday morning to make the trip north to the beautiful town of Westport, where we participated in our first official race of the year, the Park Run 5k.  Just 5k I hear you ask?  Well, the small ones can be the toughest, especially when you are not, I repeat, NOT, fit.  I started off briskly, running at the low 7 min mile pace, but I died a death at the 3k mark and slowed considerably, coming in at 23.46mins, and nearly vomiting!  Big Ron was miles ahead in the low 20min mark.  Still, I have my barometer for the year and can only get better.
Delicious veggie burger I prepared on Friday night.
As for the veggie diet - why I hear you ask?  Well, I've always wondered about going vegetarian, for all the health and morality reasons, so this year I'm plunging straight in and so far enjoying it.  
Health and happiness to all in 2014.