Two days. Two hash runs. A total of 701m of Taiwanese mountain climbed. Absolutely insane moments. I am learning to “tumble” — to switch my brain off and to send myself hurtling down ridiculously steep, muddy, paths, leaping over loose and slippery rocks, roots and water, with complete disregard for my own safety. It’s addictive. It’s terrifying. Especially when my brain suddenly switches back on mid-run and I realize that rationally I am about to break my neck.
It’s a bit like dreaming that you are flying. I don’t know how it works, but I watch the guys thunder past and they always land on their feet. It feels like the most elemental form of survival. It feels like being an animal. Wading through the river up to my thighs in water, I can feel the current tugging at me whilst I try to keep my footing on the slippery boulders. And it feels like this is what humans were really designed to do, this primeval stalking, moving forward sometimes with the pack, sometimes as a solitary hunter picking my way through the forest, the call echoing up ahead in the distance, ON, ON!
Slipping and slithering down chutes of mud, learning to avoid the brittle black bamboo which will snap in your hands, and to instead grab hold of the green bamboo in an attempt to reach the bottom of the hill without going arse over tit. Turning the corner to find yet another grinding, torturous uphill ahead, and gritting your teeth, pushing forward, soaked with sweat and rain and river-water, arms and legs covered in mud and scratches.
This is what love feels like. What life feels like. I don’t want to do anything else. I told Rebecca and she smiled and said she used to feel the same way, for the first 18 months or so. I don’t want this feeling to ever grow old. I don’t think I have ever felt this happy before.