"Never be limited by other people's limited imaginations. If you adopt their attitudes, then the possibility won't exist because you'll have already shut it out." -Mae Jemison, astronaut

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Je Maintiendrai

In 4 hours, I head to the airport (or is that aeroport as an Aussie??)

The week has been intense. That engine has been a bugger to fix. Almost scrapped it. So, not great mental preparation, but training has gone well and I have no niggles (what's that, an ultra runner without niggles?!?). Of course, taper week should bring out at least some psychosomatic (made up) ones! :)

On Saturday at noon Dutch time (6 pm Saturday in WA and 4 AM Saturday in Alberta, mum), I will begin running the 2.314km loop through Steenbergen. As I run, I am representing Australia. I will wear the coat of arms on my chest.

Aussie Coat of Arms
Yesterday, taking my poor neglected motorcycle for a head-calming spin in the autumn air, I contemplated...what does it mean to represent Australia? Athletes do this at international events, but what does it really mean? What does it mean to me, if anything?

Am I standing guard somehow for my country? Going into a modern day "battle" of sorts? Defending our flag against William of Orange and his ultra running descendants?

If I am out there to bring honour and to somehow defend my nation, without gun or sword, then what am I doing? What good do I do in running around in circles for 24 hours? Surely 22,620,400 Australians are going to go about their day having no idea that the roo and emu are going up against the three lions! Hardly seems fair! (But, Go Herbivores!)


Dutch coat of arms
Well, I can't speak to anyone else's reasons for being there and to their feelings of representing. I have decided that I am representing health and wellness, fitness, and longevity. I am running to fight obesity, apathy, binge drinking, and overwork. If I am battling in order to make my country a better place, then those are the things I will vanquish.

I have the battle dress at the ready. I will paint my nails orange and channel a little King Billy (William of Orange, that is). A Dutch man who, no matter what else he did or how, became king of England in the 1600s (Do the British teach that part of history? ha ha). I have the Inov-8s with the Aussie green on them, but the Fastwitch orange are at the ready!
My coat of arms (knife is for cutting pears, of course!)

I even have my own monogram! ;) 

(Okay, Beatrix might have something else to say about that, but I'm sure she's generous enough to share!)

By the way, Je Maintiendrai is the Dutch motto and means "I will maintain."

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