I am writing this blog on a train somewhere between Bath and Chippenham, and while it’s preferable to an hour on the M4 motorway – the train allowing me to read or write – I am pleased to say this is the last time I will regularly make the trip. I have another busy week ahead of me: days filled by packing, loading, moving my life west, to Bristol. After a year of commuting I am relocating there permanently. It seems fair to warn you that like the last three weeks of my life this post will be largely devoid of triathlon and training.
There’s a natural tendency to place too much significance on such a move; I’ll admit that the third of August has, in my mind, become a turning point in my life. Absurdly optimistic perhaps, but the limbo of commuting, stuck in a half-life between Reading and Bristol (Swindon I guess, not a place to be stuck) left me unsettled, unable to develop a routine. Somehow, having only one location, a single home, without the hassle of regularly packing laptop and kit in a rucksack and relocating 100 miles away, seems more supportive of my goals. Of course this underplays my own role in the ineffective organisation of my life instead placing blame on external events, but it does feel like it will be that much easier when I no longer roam.
Time will tell. I look at a blank calendar, free of races, free of travel, and already I start to fill the pages. There’s time to run. There’s time to build plans and answer emails. There’s time to start work on new projects: new tools, new plans, guidebooks and training camps; pages of ideas. I’m not so much freeing time as reallocating it in a far more productive manner. Absurd or not I am optimistic.
The move west is a relatively minor upheaval compared to two years alternating between the Southern and Northern Hemispheres – 100 miles versus 3,000. Despite having been home for over two years, I’ve yet to unpack previous periods of my life, the majority of my possessions remain in boxes and I’ve come to appreciate that I don’t need most of what I own. In fact outside of a computer, clothes, some books – most of which I’d happily convert to a digital format – and, of course, my triathlon kit I don’t need much at all. Of course being settled allowed a slow accumulation of new things to take place, but relocation is a lot easier than it could have been. The plethora of change of address forms frustrate me more.
But in a couple of days it will have changed. The remainder of those freshly accumulated things will be in Bristol and Reading will be left behind. Not quite. With family, friends and clients based in the region I can hardly abandon my home town. So I’ll still – occasionally – find myself on the train, iPad on my lap, writing another blog post or Kindle open reading another book.