Having done little or no running for a week I did a tentative and slow 6.6 miles this morning. But however tentative it was a mighty relief that I was able to complete the run after a bit of a scare on Tuesday. The next couple of weeks will tell me whether or not I have a chance of lining up for the Blarney Half Marathon on 12th September. Like Paula Radcliffe I’m not turning out if I think I can’t do myself justice.
So here I am at a crossroads – not in my running but in my working life. I am a 56-year old chartered accountant and finished up my previous contract at the end of July. Job offers are not exactly flooding in, though I suppose I’d pick up something in due course. But I have an opportunity to buy into a fitness/leisure franchise and therefore be able to combine my business skills with my love and passion for sport and fitness generally. There are significant risks in so doing. I have no marketing skills and I will need to learn quickly. I will be risking my small savings and, in addition, taking on a business loan. This of course is the risk/reward pattern of running a business. The upside of course is that I am my own boss and am answerable only to myself. I will be involved in a business I have a lot of empathy with and, in this sense, it will be hardly like work. And if it really works out I could become pretty successful.
The obvious alternative is that I fall back on my old trade of accountancy and work away for another few years. At the end of which I might still have my small savings but no private pension. A safe but unexciting prospect.
So the crossroads decision consists of (1) turning back and plodding the same road once again, (2) taking one of several mysterious side roads, the destinations of which are not yet signposted or (3) taking the road ahead which promises to be a rocky, exciting, insecure roller-coaster with no guarantee of not crashing and burning on the way.
And though I have a terrible sense of direction I think I’m pretty sure where I’m going.