Taking the time to rest.

Some of the best holiday moments I have experienced haven’t been anything fancy. Sure, I remember as a youngster bombing down a dry luge in Germany, experimenting with going down a weir in a kayak (same holiday), roller-coaster rides or suspending my disbelief at the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. Those were all scary but they haven’t necessarily been the best holiday moments.

Perhaps its because I am an introvert, but the best family holiday moments have been where we have pretty much just lounged around, reading our books or magazines. I can remember specific instances, and I love them all. I remember loving them at the time, because they just felt so chilled, and was exactly what I needed at that specific time.

Some of them were forced by the rain, but others weren’t. Whatever the reason, they were all refreshing. I remember one particular week away in which I actually felt like I was on a retreat, as I read through so much bible and other books (like Amy Orr-Ewing’s Why Trust the Bible, Randy Newman’s Questioning Evangelism and Dig Deeper: Tools for Understanding God’s Word).

The most recent holiday thrill was in New Zealand. Adrenaline Forest has six levels of high ropes courses, each more physically and psychologically demanding than the last. I definitely pushed myself to the limit and went as far as I could. Totally glad we took time out to do it. But there was something far greater and more satisfying in what we did the weekend before with my sister and nephew: just hanging out.

Because it’s during those days or weeks of just reading and thinking and pottering, which allow us to go through the thrills of everyday life. I have been able to resolve internal dilemmas or correct thought/action processes, which made living life outside back in the real world a little easier.

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Adrenaline Forest, bay of plentyNew Zealand.

Remembering these times of forced stoppages has been a helpful tool this week. One week after Stirling and with seven weeks until Dundee Half Marathon, I really want to jump right back in with cycling and the long runs. This is a good desire – it means that I still love it. I did run on Saturday,  which was hard because of a cough (almost gone!). Hopefully by the end of the week I will be ready to get back into full swing, but although the cold will have lifted there may yet be underlying tissue damage still needing to heal. I’m treating all bike commutes as ‘recovery’ – slow enough to pump blood without draining energy, much like it is often wise to mull on just one helpful verse than speed-read many but forget them all.

Incidentally, as I was writing this, someone messaged me saying they’ve had to pull out of the half marathon we were supposed to be doing together. A break from an injury is far worse than what I describe here, but it’s an important reminder to force ourselves to take the time so that when other things force us to stop, we’re better able to do so.

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