My boyfriend is really into orienteering. He is captain of his local club.
A couple of weeks back he found out that my local club was running an open event in the park near where I live and he asked if I wanted to give it a go.
I am not into exercise. I walk a lot and generally keep my weight down by eating relatively healthily but it is extremely rare for me to actually intentionally “do exercise”. So my gut instinct was to say no. I would look silly, make a fool of myself….
Orienteering intrigued me though. I remember enjoying it when we did it at school once. Also, I have no sense of direction. If I am out and about on my own, and am supposed to be going one way, the odds are, I’m going the other way, so the idea of figuring out how to use a map and compass was actually quite appealing.
So, I said yes. I bought myself a cheap pair of trainers and despite having a nasty cough (which started the day after I got my voice back) we went to the park after work on a warm but slightly drizzly Wednesday night.
I had decided that because of my cough, I would walk round the course, and use it as an opportunity to learn how to use the map, compass and electronic dibber thingy (to record the time taken between each post). However, as soon as I got to the start post I felt the overwhelming urge to run (well, my version of running which is more of a slow ambly jog). My boyfriend ran alongside me on the beginners course which he could have done in his sleep but he left all the map reading and decision making down to me.
I alternated between running and walking and took a fair amount of time between posts to look at the map and compass but I was completely engrossed and not at all worried about making a fool of myself.
About half way around the course, we were running side by side (and had picked up the pace a little more) and I looked at my boyfriend and he looked at me and we both grinned.
It was an utterly perfect moment.
A snapshot of time that will stay with me, long after I forget the blister I got from the cheap trainers or the fact that everyone else that ran my course was under 12 and did it a lot quicker than me!
These moments are what make life magical. A few seconds or minutes where everything is just right. Moments that you can look back on and smile about when things are not so perfect.
And to think I would have missed out on that moment because I was afraid of looking silly!