After loop two of the Bath Half course that Rosie Swale-Pope used as her 4th marathon of the 26 marathons in 26 days that is her current project, I began to feel the enormity of the task that Rosie has set before her. Pulling Icebird behind her as she did for so long and for so many miles it is not so hard to see how it has become her refuge, her home, a metaphor for her life. It gives her an identity, it provides symbols of simplicity and practicality that welded together like her sub-frame with courage, determination, perseverance and persistence in the face of life’s challenges and like her trans-atlantic experiences 40 years ago, enables her to sail her life’s boat ever ready to deal with her own circumstance and fate.
For me, pushing Icebird was a problem that was amplifying and exacerbating every tiny issue bleeding through the cracks of reality that Rosie, undaunted, was handling as only she knows how.
Today’s post on her blog by her son James indicates again that Icebird is suffering under the pressure of Rosies demands. Having already been repaired a few days ago, the rigours of life on the road are proving to be intense even for a cart.
Jogging along on a shoestring budget, this 300 pound behemoth needs to lose about half it’s weight to some lighter stronger substance that will thrive in these conditions but, would that make it easier for Rosie or would she have undertaken a tougher challenge if the load was lighter? Probably the latter.
As it is, the logistics of moving from place to place and getting enough food and rest plus manage the myriad details of living is a challenge that keeps a flow of energy running through Rosie like the traffic streaming past her day in day out and she edges step by step, mile by mile toward her glowing goal, the finish line at the Llanelli Marathon in West Wales.
But the end is not the goal for Rosie I feel. Each step of the journey is as mysterious and full of meaning and significance as she connects the dots of the people she inspires to come run with her, to donate to the charities she is working for and for those who offer support in their own way and time to show again that we can achieve amazing things when we get into that selfless zone dedicated to serving humanity and the world.
Knowing that I would be able to take it easy the next day while Rosie would be heading off to another town to cover another 26-27 miles brought into sharp focus the energy that surrounds her and the immediacy of her unrelenting challenge and I am grateful for the opportunity to have met her.
Checkout Rosie’s website and support her by purchasing her book, Just A Little Run Aound The World or donating through Just Giving.