Often at weekends we meet our great friends Tommy and Joan Doyle down at the gorgeous Ballincollig Park in Cork.
It’s a huge facility with the River Lee flowing through it, it has football fields, river walks and the ruins from the Gunpowder Mills can be seen as you explore the different spots at the park.
When we go there myself and Dee like to take a full route around the park, moving from the first football field, along the river, exploring the fields further back and coming back via the river letting Bing (our four legged creature) to have a little splash and a drink.
We wander back via the main entrance and have a cuppa and a bun at the fabulous Cafe Chico (Margaret runs a terrific little business there). It’s a nice route and for the most part we don’t revisit any part of the park.
When we meet up with Tommy and Joan we always end up having an argument – Tommy is obsessed with doing laps!! I can’t stand it ….he is happy to do a particular walk at the start of the park and repeat it 10 times.
Tommy is a true Irish GAA legend, winner of 7 senior All Ireland Medals with Kerry, so I guess he spent a lifetime doing laps as part of his training, which is engrained into him (we have a funny friendship as I have zero interest in GAA – we started as workmates).
Sometimes we win the argument and we get to take our route but often we end up doing his laps routine – it really is mindless repetition, it’s so boring, over and over. I really can’t stand it and only for Tommy’s colourful conversation (he is a great character despite his obsession with laps and routine) we’d never survive it! When we meet them in the evening it’s even a battle to get Tommy to go some place new or try something different.
I get really frustrated and it makes me wonder – why bother doing laps when you can go on a journey?
Isn’t life often like this as we can end up repeating ourselves over and over, the same routine, the same job, the same clients, the same restaurants, the same shops, the same holiday locations, the same walks on a Saturday!
Sometimes routine is safe, comforting and dependable but at times we do have to break out and try something new. In the current climate change was forced on a lot of us and often people will tell you that the change has been a breath of fresh air.
I reflect back on my own journey and in many respects it has been colourful with lots of interesting twists and turns both personal and professional and of course I probably have done a few laps too many in some cases!
I think of my buddy Tommy and his obsession with laps and then when I Google him I see him holding up the Sam Maguire cup as Captain of the Kerry team in 1986 in front of a crowd of 60,000 people! How many have taken that journey?
Today I must do something new …
Are you doing laps or going on a Journey?