The joy of turning left (Andrew)

Last week, I turned left. It wasn’t deliberate, it just happened. I’d started running my normal route from the office when, five minutes into the run, someone had locked a gate and blocked access to a short woodland trail through Glenbervie. I had no choice. Instead of turning right I had to turn left.

In my head, I’m grumbling. All my thoughts of where to run and how far to go have been blocked. How could I run six miles if I couldn’t run the first mile? Where would I go?

But, as I ran, a thought took hold. Why not turn left again? Why not try and run randomly. Every time I would get to a junction I would ask myself “which road do I know the least?” and that’s the way I’d go.

In the process, I discovered a new trail, a new park, a new golf course and new interest in running. I wasn’t running, I was exploring.

While there’s joy in running the same routes, the comfort of knowing where you’re going, what you’ll see and the calmness that comes from not thinking about anything at all. There’s no spark. The same roads, the same streets, the same pavements, the same beat. No one ever said “You know what I find fun, doing exactly the same thing as yesterday and the day before and the year before that!”

Last week, I turned left. And while there’s fear in getting lost, or finding a route that worse than the one you’d planned, that’s a pessimistic view. You might find crocodiles, mud or, worse, a long straight road (is there anything more boring than not turning?) you might also find a hill with an escalator (I can but dream).

So, this week, try turning left.

p.s. Remember to turn right at least once too. If you don’t, you’ve just run in a circle.

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