The Beginnings of an Adventure

October 22, 2015

I mulled over the idea of running around the coast for a couple of months before I told the world. I sent my dad a text message on a Friday afternoon in February. “Hey, what do you think of this?” I asked. He replied quoting Captain Sensible as he does in pretty much any given situation. “If you don’t have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?” I assumed that meant he was on board.

By Elise Downing

I had a good friend at the time who was quite involved in the whole ‘adventure’ malarkey. I told him that I wanted to go around the coast one day. He asked some questions and I pretended that I wasn’t sure. A few days later I revealed that I meant I wanted to run and that ‘one day’ was actually ‘quite soon’. I was surprised when he didn’t laugh at me and even more surprised when the response I got was more along the lines of “do it”.

I got in touch with some strangers who have ran long distances before and a couple of people who have walked the UK coast. Several emails and phone calls and a little Skyping later, I started to think that perhaps this thing could actually happen. I made a website and told my friends, my brother (the family’s resident runner), my boss.

I spent a whole Saturday morning in April uhming and ahing about finally taking the plunge and posting a Facebook status about the whole thing. It shouldn’t have been so important but somehow it was. It would mean I had to actually make it happen. After a lot of typing and retyping and finger hovering, I finally pressed send.

I hadn’t really expected anybody to care. It’s just a run after all, just something I want to do. I thought it would just be me and my mum at the start line. It turns out I know some really bloody great people though and I’ve been completely overwhelmed by just how darn nice they all are are. It seems the promise of an adventure brings out everybody’s soppy side (especially mine).

In real terms though, the physical adventure hasn’t even begun. I haven’t taken the first step yet and I won’t for several months. As somebody pointed out a few weeks ago, it’s still just an idea, really. Yet it feels like so much more than that. For me all the planning and talking and excitement, all the reading kit reviews and learning about maps and running in the park, means that in some of the most important ways the adventure has begun already.

I’m so excited that I find myself a bit breathless multiple times a day just thinking about it. I’m day dreaming about running the way I used to day dream about pretty boys and expensive shoes. I don’t think it’s very cool to be this excited. I’ve even looked ‘excited’ up in the thesaurus a few times in a bid to add some variety to my vocabulary (although, as you can probably tell, I’ve failed to find an alternative).

There’s a long way to go but I think there’s some truth when people say that the first step is the hardest. Captain Sensible poses a very good question really: if you don’t have a dream, how are you going to have a dream come true?

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