Telephone call to Alasdair the other morning: ‘I had a bit of a spasm and my finger slipped; I seem to have entered the Dunoon Presents 50k Ultra. Are you OK with that?’
I can sense him dying a little on the other end of the phone.
It no longer surprises him, he is resigned.
He knows that it makes little difference if he is ‘not ok with that’.
As strategies go, it does have a certain simple elegance: the presentation of a fait accompli, a done deal. I get to do what I want. There no procrastination, no fuss, no one to talk me out of it, no one to point out the potential risks, no one to talk sense into me; I am master of my own destiny and if it all goes belly up then I only have myself to blame: right?
It does occasionally backfire on me. I have double booked Alasdair and found myself scrabbling around looking for lifts and support. There have been occasions when Alasdair has simply said, ‘No, I’m not coming’. He has certain weekends that are non-negotiable and if I book a race I have to sort myself out.
There was the famous weekend when he headed off to London ‘for a break from running’ only to realise that it the London Marathon weekend and the place was crawling with runners. To add insult to injury the expo he was going to was next door the marathon expo.
I even volunteer him to support friends, which he obligingly does. That is actually a better gig: he doesn’t get growled at and doesn’t have offer provisions at the end of a stick to avoid being mauled.
Having to be ‘ok with that’ can be a bit grim at times. Cue images of Alasdair getting soaked and freezing his ‘ass-off’ at Glenmore awaiting the four riders of the apocalypse, getting eaten alive by midges at various highland locations, trying to calculate rendezvous times, having to put up with diva-strops, trying to force feed and angry bear, put up with a smelly whimpering heap in the back of the car.
On the other hand, it gets my slightly reclusive depression suffering husband out and about, something which he is not naturally inclined to do. He’s out in the sunshine and fresh air, getting a bit of exercise (he often goes for walks whilst hanging about waiting for me), and it provides social interaction in a community that is friendly, supportive and understands depression well.
Sometimes, the ‘are you ok with that’ reaps real rewards: a visit to the Atacama Desert in Chile, Croatia (although he tells he is not ok with 2017 as a week in the tiny town of Umag is more than enough) and there are a couple of exciting destinations on the cards for 2017.
At this point in time I am ‘considering’ an invitation to go and do a really exciting and extreme double event next year. I wonder what the odds are for an ‘Are you ok with that?’ outcome.