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October « 2011 « Jodie Swallow's Blog


Archive for October, 2011


Saturday, October 15th, 2011

I just had a holiday!   Remarkably, the first consecutive days off training I have had since my holiday with my school friends in Ayia Napa.  That was 12 years ago……

I think addiction plays a part in my ‘non-holidaying’, I love training and I love routine.   I was bought up busy and stressed and it is alien to me to be anything but.  I also think that training, for me, is an ingrained habit, usually a very constructive one but one that has the ability to destruct an injured body.

To break our normal routine and frustrating days of being invalids James and I headed to Zululand, Jame’s motherland to try and make a date with a leopard, chase a rhino and have breakfast with a hyena.  The leopard stood us up- but we did the other two.

It was incredible relaxation.  We slept a lot- what I can only attribute to years of accumulated tiredness.  We were silent a lot (well more than usual ;) ).  We read a lot.  We had fun without sport.

When I did finally convince Ranger James (this is James’s alter ego as soon as he ventures into non- urban terrain) to take a walk with me- we got in trouble.  Admittedly, we were a little far from camp but, being with Ranger James, I felt very safe .  The real Ranger James, (the one with the course certificate), didn’t agree.  He came in his safari truck came to tell us off for for being naughty.  Like schoolkids we were escorted back giggling and shamed.  I told James we should have walked barefoot like the monkeys and they would have had more difficulty tracking us.  ;)

The best thing about the bush was the silence, only broken by the birds and the howls of the hyena and baboons.   The silence and the darkness- the kind of darkness where you can’t even sense the hand in front of you face.  Also the bushfires – Outdoor TV at its best.  The worst bit was waking up to rustling and sniffing outside our unlocked door at 4am.  I was convinced it was a murderer or worse a hungry baboon that could open doors.

‘What the F@*&(flippin hell) is that ?’ I whispered to James

Ranger James was not phased and accordingly made friends with the huge hyena that was devouring our floor mat.

He called me to come and look but I was peeing.  James later pointed out ‘Who goes to the toilet when there’s a flipping hungry hyena outside your door?’ ……..me J  When nature calls hey? ;)

We are back in Franschhoek now.  I can honestly say I feel refreshed and excited about the training coming up.  It is as if the reset button has been pushed.  Without breaks training can stagnate and merge into a mass.  This wind down has enabled me the time to conduct an annual review and learn the lessons of the year, the mistakes and the better decisions.   I’m not really glad we had to rest but I am glad we have.  I’d bet on us for 2012.

J x