12 Miles

It was 6.30am.

It was a Saturday morning.

I never wake up at 6.30am on a Saturday morning.

It was still dark outside. It was cold, I could hear the rain pattering on the floor outside. It took every fibre of my being to drag one foot out of bed followed by the other.

For some reason I’d decided to go for an early morning 12 mile walk yesterday. Bear in mind we’re now in late November, and the weather is never that good. Despite that, I still decided it might be a good idea to go for a walk with some friends.

When we got to the other side of Sheffield by about 8am the weather looked fine. It was a little cold but nothing I couldn’t deal with for 5 hours.

We set off on our walk and the weather looked OK.

Until it became something that wasn’t OK. After about an hour it began raining quite hard. It wasn’t heavy rain, but it was already cold and I didn’t have waterproofs on. After about 15 minutes I was completely soaked and started to get miserable.

There’s nothing that turns your mood more sour quicker than trudging through the countryside in sodden clothes early on a Saturday morning.

After 2 hours in we’d decided to cut the walk short. We weren’t moving fast enough to keep warm and it was just getting uncomfortable. I go walking to enjoy myself, to look at the scenery. At this point I’d began just walking with my head down trying to keep the rain off my face as much as possible. I wasn’t seeing anything other than my feet and the floor.

We turned around and walked back.

We’d cut the walk short, but not by much. We still walked 9 miles on a cold rainy Saturday morning when none of us were really feeling it.

Sometimes things turn out like this. Sometimes the thing you thought would have been fun isn’t. I didn’t get angry or disappointed that we’d cut the walk short. It just happened and it was OK. There was nothing I could have done about it.

All we can do is decide to do something then do it.

If you have expectations that your clothes won’t get wet you’ll be disappointed and angry when they do.

Have no expectations over whether something will turn out good or bad. Keep neutral, and you won’t be disappointed when it rains and your clothes get wet.

“We have the power to hold no opinion about a thing and to not let it upset our state of mind—for things have no natural power to shape our judgments.” —MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 6.52