My email sent me something I was delighted to get this morning: a postcard.
I’ve been doing a virtual race through My Virtual Mission – the one that follows the route from Lands End to John O’Groats. This provider offers a range of virtual races, all of which are over classic routes and substantial distances (they also all end in a medal!).
These virtual races tend to make, one might say, a virtue of their virtuality. Where the races described by Beth at F.A.B. mimic the race-day experience, these ones follow classic distances (like, for instance, the Inca Trail). Your progress is tracked on a map, and as you pass key points, the system emails you a postcard to tell you about it. And that was what I received this morning.
Anyway, receiving this postcard just as Melbourne is going into a Stage 4 coronavirus lockdown got me to thinking. I suppose I chose this race because of a degree of natural-born Anglophilia. But it seems to have been an inspired choice. At present it’s not possible to exercise outdoors for more than an hour a day or more than 5kms from home. The City is subject to a curfew from 2000hrs. When you can only journey in your mind, there’s a lot to be said for an email like that.
Looking at the bigger picture, there’s an even greater encouragement to be found. As I look at the economic carnage being wrought by coronavirus, I wonder how many of us will still be securely employed (or financially intact) by the end of it. It could well be that me and others will be looking to reinvent ourselves in one way or another. This is nothing to be afraid of, difficult though it be. There was an insightful remark over at Setting the Barre from a retired professional dancer: “I’m a beginner again”. Many of us will, I think, be in just that position. Getting a postcard from Bournmouth or Belarus or Bullamakanka reminds you that the world is still wide, with endless places and times and opportunities to start again.