A friend of mine recently learned that one of the things he loves is now something he will not be able to carry on doing; the reason is for his own health. There were tears in his eyes as he was telling me about it, just as there were tears in mine as I was listening to him, because I knew how much that particular activity meant to him.
The activity in question is not seen as risky to the overwhelming majority of the public, but to him it could be severely damaging or even a killer. It got me to reflecting on the things that I have loved and lost that I cannot ever do again.
One is since my father took ill with cancer and died in 2007 I have lost the most intense times of sharing with him. There is an issue right now that I would love to sort through with my father. It is one that we merely touched upon when he was alive, it is one that at this stage is taking on a whole new intensity at the moment. I would love to on a decent Saturday pick up our walking books, prepare a flask of hot water and supplies for a day hike and take him up for a deep discussion away from it all. As it is this weekend (indeed for most of the last wee while) I have been thinking to myself what would my father advise in this situation.
The other thing is that I have yet to enter any race since I succumbed to my career ending injury in 1992. The reason for that is that through the training regime to get ready to do anything I don't feel that is me doing those training runs. I suppose that setting such a high standard in my early life makes it harder to take that every second step now involves some pain and the speed doesn't feel right.
However, both these things and the fact that my friend is not able, even if he wanted to, to do the thing he loves to do had made me determined to set that right.
I'm still able to run, more slowly, in some pain, but doing it isn't going to kill me or cause me any more damage. So I'm going to get back into training, yes I'm going to run. I'm going to pick a race. I'm going to seek sponsorship in aid of Marie Curie, Cancer Research and a charity close to my friends heart too. The recent performance of Andrew Reeves and other friends at Hopetoun had already got me thinking, indeed I was considering joining them before events unfolded that led to me coming home to Northern Ireland.
So watch this space for news about my progress soon.