I was out running with a mate, Pete, this morning.
He is heading over to Perth on Thursday for a surf-ski race called ‘The Doctor’. It’s a 27km paddle from Rottnest Island to Sorrento Beach on the Perth coastline, and is one of the big and prestigious races in the world. He’s been talking about it for the last few weeks, the excitement and nerves building as it gets closer.
He thinks he will probably be the most inexperienced entrants in it, having only taken up paddling in the past 18 months.
It was interesting to hear why he had taken it up, after a lifetime of running. He is still a pretty good runner, and would fall into the sub-elite category. This means he’s way out in front of me, and I’m doing all I can just to stay in sight of him.
What he told me though is that he needed to find a new challenge. His running has flatlined over the past several years as he’s got older. Considering he is now in his mid 40’s that’s actually a pretty good result.
But working harder to maintain the status quo is not something that is really inspiring.
So he took up paddling.
He acknowledges his lack of experience, but this race has given him a focus on developing his skills and his fitness.
Importantly, the race scares him.
Not in a bad way, but the possibility of failure is very real, and this has motivated him and provided a focus to his efforts in a way that running hasn’t for a few years.
The end result is he is excited again, and much happier.
So why did he decide to enter the race now?
‘If I don’t do it now, I probably never will’.
Footage from last year’s race starts at 1:45.
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