This past week has had a distinct feeling of starting from scratch and venturing into the relative unknown.
You may remember I spoke a little about Resolutions a week or so ago and since then I've been making a big effort to keep with them.
I've worked through about 3 hours of Italian audio and was pleasantly surprised that I remember more than I thought I knew. I last had a crack at it back in 2006 when I got married and we went to Rome for our honeymoon. It's still a bit basic but I should get somewhere with it if I persevere. My main learning time is in the car to and from work a couple of days a week - I have a mini audio course on my iPod. I think that will get me so far but I probably need to do a bit of work away from that to be able to really get to grips with it.
My other resolution was to learn guitar and that's going OK as well. I've managed to learn 7 or 8 chords but I'm predictably finding stringing them together into something familiar a bit more difficult. Obviously patience and practice are key here and to think I would be able to play anything in such a short space of time would be foolish. That said, I've managed to learn a couple of simple nursery rhymes to keep my daughter onside. I'm making the effort to pick the guitar up for about 15 or 20 minutes every day and I think that'll really help. In the evenings I'm trying to watch the football with the sound muted whilst I "practice" and that's helping a little. Hopefully I'll get to something passable by Christmas.
I've also done my first post-marathon run this last week and that's been a bit of a shock to the system. It's not wholly unexpected as I'd not run for about 50 days for a variety of reasons (blisters, brusing, holidays to name three) but it's something I want to keep doing and now I know what I'm capable of, it all seems a bit more straight forward. I'm entered in the Great Yorkshire Run at the start of September which is a 10km route around Sheffield and so I'm effectively starting over in preparation for that. I'm revisiting my old 2 mile route twice a week at the moment just to get back into a routine. I'll keep upping that distance when I get back to a decent level of fitness.
Once again, I'm running for Diabetes UK and Sheffield Children's Hospital but this time I'm trying to raise a more modest £200. If you feel like you can spare perhaps £2 for two worthy causes you can donate here (you'll have to click on the Great Yorkshire Run 2012 page). If I reach my target for this run, I'll have raised £1700 for charity this year which would be incredible.
My wife has put together a record of the marathon journey we went through in a photobook. Whilst the real thing hasn't been delievered yet, I have a link of what it will look like so if you're a little interested, you can see it here (I'd look at it in full screen for best results)
I suppose this post should have an actual point (it would make a change eh?) Whilst trying something new can be a bit daunting and frustrating, I'm feeling positive about the challenges. I think previously I've probably been a bit immature or fickle to really be able to sit down and learn a new skill. It's fair to say that in the past, I've been quick to get bored of something if it's not going my way. I think there's still a slim chance of that happening (it'd be a bit short sighted to think I've totally changed in the last few weeks or months) but hopefully I can stick with it.
I've started to find a genuine interest in things that would have previously passed me by and whilst I'll continue to waste a few hours playing Xbox or watching some second rate TV, I feel like I've found things that will give me some genuine enjoyment which can't be a bad thing can it?
I guess it's never too late to try your hand at something new.
Talk to you soon