I love where we live

There’s other places I’d like to live, I mean I haven’t explored New Zealand yet, that looks pretty cool and we’ve only traversed a small portion of Australia, but all things considered, and politics aside, we live in a pretty cool place. 

As I look back at my Strava activities for the last month of Active Every Day of June, I notice a few things. Firstly that I’ve completed over 45 activities in the last 30 days but also that pretty much all of them were completed outside! Lots we’re completed with the family and you wonderfabulous RunPals too!

We have one of the best playgrounds in the country. With the South Downs literally on our back door, you can walk, hike, jog, run, mountain bike for miles. You can see alpacas, sheep and cows and if you’re into twitching you’ll see plenty of avian activity too. There’s lots out there to distract you from your running. Lots too explore with old old old hill forts and farm buildings too. I found a new lake this month whilst running with the pals, what about you? 

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We have more parks and therefor more parkrun’s in Sussex than any other county in England (I totally made that up.. but we have 10 within a 30 minute drive) so on Saturday morning we can explore somewhere new or return to old haunts literally every weekend. We can run with new people or we can deploy en mass to anyone of these events and always feel welcome. Always feel not alone. Always feel great and ready for the day ahead.

Then there’s the roads and coastal paths. So roads are my least favourite, I like to escape to the trails when I run, but, there’s plenty of options for every ability to get outside and enjoy our amazing landscape. We went for long strolls with the babes and I know the mommas got together on a few occasion to ease themselves back into their running routines on the flat undercliff, taking in the cafes as they went.

And who can forget the Weakest Link Relay Run one Wednesday evening? It was so epic to see so many pas running together! We also had an awesome turn out when we ran to the cross the next night!

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And it’s not all running. We do a lot of activities together as a family as well as with a lot of you pals, our extended family too! But for the first time my family of five ran through the New Forest together. No longer was it just me on an hour on my own as the family relaxed. We were incredibly lucky to borrow a double buggy from Jon and Ria, packed the van and clambered out into the heart of the forest. We explored trails, climbed muddy hills and splashed through rivers. We walked, jog and ran our way past dogs and horses with a number of new foals to ogle at as well.  We snacked. We ran some more. We got muddy. We jumped in the river to wash it all off.

The important part though, is that we were being active together. Having fun. Making memories. Enjoying the great outdoors.

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We have plenty of pools nearby too; indoors, outdoors, lidos and gyms, but we are luckier than most as we also have the sea.

I was lucky to experience the mineral lakes of Sibiu in Romania this month, where however you moved felt like you were in a mouldable armchair, relaxing in the warm lakes. Supposedly this was good for our skin as well.

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My final sea swim of the month of June was possibly one of the most memorable yet. Not because of how far we went or anything like that, but out with RunPal Jon and then Nikki and Sam on their SUP’s, we cruised to the furthest buoy out to sea where water was crystal clear. We could see the seabed and everything in between. Still didn’t catch sight of a dolphin, but how could you not enjoy getting wet in mother earths playground with views like that? Ducking and diving beneath the surface... we were literally in our very own playground. It was amazing. We got back to the beach where the kids (and Adam ;) joined us for a play on his paddleboard. Life is pretty good. 

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In June, I also took a punt and partook in my first swimrun solo 16km race. I was in Sweden for work and this event was on in the morning of my meetings. I had time. I could do this. I’ll save the whole event for a separate blog, but wow. It was cold (main lake about 7 degrees) and then fricken hot, being over 30 degrees at 8am. 

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I’ve never felt like a human could melt before, but I was totally refreshed as I climbed into one of the most beautiful lakes I’ve ever seen. It was like a National Geographic cover I was being transported into. It made up for the melting. My mind has been opened to a whole new world, a whole new opportunity of exploration. 

In and under water aside, part of Active Every Day of June, I wanted to learn something new. Try out new experiences. Have a go at something else to help keep me fit and active and my brain engaged. 

RunPals Olivia and Laura have been bending our ears for some time to try out gig rowing down in Newhaven harbour and we finally gave in. The stars finally aligned or rather the diaries dates and times did, but, a number of the pals got to try their hand at this “oarsome” activity. 

Rushing under Newhaven bridge, breezing past the banks of the river, seeing the sunset from a completely new angle... were just some of the experiences that ignited the senses as we cruised around the harbour, all in time (for a while anyway) under the watchful eye of our ever patient coxswain. I used to row, way back in the day, and this had brought back wonderfabulous memories... I can see it becoming a regular fix in my training routine. 

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But we have to remember it’s not all about breaking a sweat or raising a heart rate. Sometimes we need to allow ourselves the time to slow down. Switch off. Relax. And focus on our breathing. Focus on our mind. 

With my fam, we did a few yoga sessions at home before bed helping cool and calm everyone before they shut their eyes in some of this heat we’ve had of late. We also listened to some great breathing exercises some nights, helping us focus on the very thing that keeps us alive. And we’ve never felt better. 

So, active every day in June for me worked. I experienced new things. I slowed down. I sped up. I realised that we live in a wonderfabulous community that literally has everything on our doorstep. 

I love where we live. I love the opportunities it provides us. I hope you get to keep on being active. Keep experiencing new things too. It keeps our brains refreshed and minds active. It helps us leave our day jobs behind and enjoy life. It helps us feel alive.

Could we ask for anything more than that? 

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Matt Coyne