Friday, 20 January 2012

The Haircut

This week has been pretty interesting. Firstly thanks for everyone who read my blog, it was nice to receive some comments and emails about it. I know there are some of you that think I underperformed, whilst others are excited by my tenacity to complete. To set the record straight I still feel as though I had an awesome day and don’t consider it a failure, I have been taught a very valuable lesson that I won’t be forgetting quickly.
The other “big news” of the week is that my H&H training buddy Rodney broke his wrist last Saturday riding his bike and required surgery to put it all back together. I won’t go into the how’s and why’s – but this is a shout out to him to wish him a speedy recovery in time for Challenge Cairns and his other crazy adventures this year. I hope he has fun getting his boys to butter his toast in the mornings!
Onto this week’s rant; I got a haircut! That’s my first haircut since May 2011. Just a trim, not the whole lot cut off. When I walked into the hairdresser (which is literally under my office) she didn’t recognise me!
Now my hair has been a big talking point in our household, Bel hates it and now she has turned the boys against me to get my long locks cut. I keep saying that it is my “Ultra Hair”.
In writing it down it sounds absolutely stupid that I am growing my hair for The North Face 100. What sort of nut job am I to do this? I have been thinking about it a bit lately; I know it looks like shit, it is hot and Hayden says it smells – but for some reason I love it. I know Luke grew a monster beard when he was training for his Ultra last year. What is it that makes us do stupid illogical things like grow hair, beards or shave our legs?
My hair doesn’t define me as a person, so why keep growing it? All of this running must be starting to screw me up if I am getting obsessed with a haircut.
Bel said the other night that I have run an Ultra and proven a point with the hair growing, now it was time to cut it. I’ve promised Bel that I will after TNF; but I have a bad feeling that I am getting too attached to my scruffy look and may want to keep it post May. The more people who say it looks terrible the more I want to keep it. In the past I have just “had enough” and just put the clippers to it, maybe that will happen.
My hair certainly isn’t improving my performance, so all I can put it down to is that I was looking for a symbol of my new journey, my new life as an Ultra runner. My hair is an external reflection of my internal change. I guess it is a little bit like a marathon finisher’s shirt. Often I’ll throw one of my marathon finisher’s shirts on to give myself a boost, especially if I am tired and don’t want to run – I’ll put one on and head out the door. There is no way you are going to walk if you have a “Gold Coast Marathon Finisher” shirt on, but the shirt doesn’t make me a better athlete nor does my hair make me run like “Anton Krupicka” although I wish it did.  
The hair really is really just a symbol to myself of the hours, weeks and months of prep I am doing. The whole “taking it to the next level” in my training and preparation has included trying to give myself an external reminder also. The hair must be it. Maybe once I am more comfortable with my identity as an Ultra runner, I might cut it. Maybe the reason I didn’t cut it after H&H was because of the hydration issues and my crash in the second part of the race.
In “It’s not about the bike” Lance speaks about the gold cross he wears around his neck, and the quirk that he isn’t religious but it was a symbol of general faith and love, a symbol to his religious mum. I guess my hair is that symbol to my running, just as my tattoos are all symbols of love for my family. Sometimes we need symbols to hold onto, to make sense of what we are here for, what our purpose is and where we are going.
If you are out on the roads riding or running, be careful and stay safe.
P.S I’m trying out some Honey Shots over the next few weeks, so stay tuned for a review.

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