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An Ode to the Summer


This may be taking looking on the bright side a bit far. But, perhaps, there is an up side to enduring the oh-so-long months of dark, damp British winter. And that is the bubbling delight that gushes up inside me when I wake to the sort of morning that June is supposed to be like.

The world looks brand new. Trees tremble in the merest of breezes. Fresh and green beneath an empty blue sky. Blackbirds belt out their happy tune. I pull on shorts and trainers and head for the woods.

It is such a simple joy to run like a child through the trees. The narrow track weaves its ancient course and I follow it as fast as I can. I jump over fallen logs, far higher than I need to jump. I weave round bushes and duck beneath low boughs. Sunlight bursts over my face as I pass through a clearing created by a fallen beech tree.

I run hard and fast and long. My lungs gulp air, but it is such fresh, summer air that I don’t notice the exhaustion and rasping breath. This is just running for fun, summer training that doesn’t feel like training.

I arrive at the lake. The air is still fresh. Despite my run, my toes are still chilly. The water looks cold.

But it is mirror-calm and a beautiful blue colour. The scene is calm and serene. There is only one thing to do. I grin and pull off my t-shirt, almost without stopping. And I sprint down the jetty, beaming with the pent-up anticipation of how cold but how good this is going to feel. And I leap off the end of the jetty, as high as I can. I tuck myself into the ‘bomb’ position, knees tight to my chest. (You should never be too old to enjoy a good ‘bomb’). Then -BOOM- I am underwater, an explosion of cold, green, bubbling freshness.

Surely there cannot be a much better start to the day than this?

There’s absolutely no point to this blog entry. I just felt the urge to describe this morning, if only for myself, because I hope I never forget the simple pleasures of being fit and outdoors, seeking out pockets of local wildness.

Get off the sofa. Get out of the gym. Go outside. Go for a run. Jump in a lake.

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  1. Louise Scott Posted

    Like this one a lot Al. I run and love getting off road; wish I had a lake nearby that I could jump into. Think the rangers at the Pentland Hills would have something to say about me plunging into the reservoir!!

  2. My gym has a swimming pool, climbing wall, cycle options, mud baths, rowing options and it cost £0.00 per month! The heating thermosat is a little dodgy, but I can live with that! Choose life, choose the outoors!

  3. Fraser Morse Posted

    It’s so easy to get held up on so many trivial things in your house. I love getting out with the kids on a hike. Great blog

  4. From a country like India, it’s hard to dance to the summer 🙂

  5. I’ve spent a lot of time in Singapore and other tropical areas and I firmly believe that we in Britain enjoy our sunny days all the more just because we have so few of them. I got completely carried away on a bike ride because of the weather yesterday and ended up exhausted for the rest of the evening. Happy though.



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