In the winter when you are on the water, the sounds travel differently. It feels like life slows down and there is a bit of an eeery twang to it. Many canoeists do stop and do not paddle as night falls, but I quite enjoy it. There are places of silence and it allows me to zone in on how the boat feels and I am able to think about nothing else other than the sound my boat makes as it cuts through the water.
On tuesday evening, within 30 mins of hearing the news I was on the water and as I was coaching that night, I had to park my thoughts and sadness. Parking thoughts is something I have grown to be very good at, the worst bit is that it hits you when your mind switches off, so consequently on tuesday evening when the rest of England were sleeping I was awake. It made for a long day on wednesday and I found myself staring at my screen at work a fair few times. Why does death make you think about your own life, question its existence and its place ... perhaps I guess it is a natural process ... It also made me feel annoyed and a bit angry, so on wednesday evening I did a weights session where I chucked the weights lifting as much as I could, as fast as I could ... up in the air as in the gym and made those 'argggghhhhh' and 'muuggghhhh' noises you associate with people lifting heavy weights. Sweaty, out of breath and feeling a little quiet, I then met with a friend. Having not really spoken about what was going through my head to anyone, up until this point.... it was like a flow of words came to my mouth and as I ran they all came out. At the end of the run, which finished on a sprint! I felt a little more relaxed. The kind words of my friend provided reassurance that I was not alone in my thoughts on death, nor was I alone in the world.
So today, I woke up very early ... mostly due to my dog making noises with her tail wacking against the wall ... just to enforce to me she was awake and it was obviously time to get up ... hmmm at 4.30am it wasn't. I secretly, think she knew I needed to know she was there for me too. Animals just know :o) A busy day ahead as later today I have the honour of presenting GCSE and A Level certificates to students at a school and then I finish my day in Devon. I am going to have a bit of a switch off for the next few days and play on my most favourite river, the River Dart. Anyone who has read my book, will know this was the first river I paddled and one I hold very close to my heart.
It is good to look back and remember but for me I also need to remember life is to be lived and make your own destiny as you move forward. Although I wish time would stop, it just doesn't.