As a new runner, I can see that running is changing the way I perceive things. When I listen to music on the radio, I think about which tracks I should to add to my running playlist. As I drive around, I look out for possible new routes to run. When planning meals, I try to think about nourishing my body to fuel my runs. And I always wear good sensible shoes because I want to take really good care of my feet.
As Easter approaches, so too does the conference season. As an active trade unionist, I’ll be attending conferences for my union, and the wider trade union movement.
I have one such conference coming up this weekend. Conferences are great opportunities for debate and discussion, networking with colleagues and sharing ideas. They tend to include a great deal of sitting and listening, and less opportunity for moving. They also involve, what with being far from home and meeting up with all those like minded people, a degree of eating out and consuming alcoholic liquids.
My preparations for conferences used to include, in addition to choosing which interesting meetings to attend, researching places to eat out and deciding which clothes to pack.
This year I’ve noticed a change. I’ve noticed myself looking through the conference timetables working out when I can fit in a run. I’ve been busy planning routes on Map My Run. I’ve packed my suitcase so full of running gear (do I really need a head torch?) that I’m going to need a much bigger suitcase for my actual clothes.
The hotel where I’m staying for the first, two day, conference has a pool and a small gym. However, the conference has a very busy timetable, and only one overnight stay. Oh what a dilemma! I’m currently torn between writing a speech on menopause in the workplace (more of this on another occasion), and trying to bend time to see how I can fit in a) a run, b) a swim, c) a gym session and d) a walk on the beach. Such torment, the conference is taking place at the seaside next to a beautiful sandy beach.
Then there will also be opportunities to engage in lively debate, catch up with colleagues, and learn something new. The actual business that I’m there for.
I suppose the solution is to prioritise. After giving full attention to the business of the conference, I will see what I can fit in. A swim before breakfast? A run before dinner? And a walk on the beach after the conference closes? Sounds good to me.