On a recent Saturday morning training session with Coach Dave, we were instructed to run up to the top of a hill towards an orange bush and jog back down. We were to do this until he said stop. The “bush” at the top of the hill was in fact the most beautiful tree. The Jacaranda mimosifolia. The name stood out because it was signposted on the bark as most of the trees at Emmerentia Dam are.
Up and down the hill we ran and each and every time I reached the top, I would touch the bark of the tree and repeat the words “Jacaranda mimosifolia”. It occurred to me that I had never noticed that Jacaranda trees change to orange during winter. How odd because their majestic beauty when they are in full bloom during spring paints the streets with their exquisite colours of blue and purple.
Up and down…. Jacaranda mimosifolia. When I did stop to catch my breath at the top of the hill, I took time to appreciate the tree and reflected on the past couple of months.
It’s been a tough winter. I have not been able to get into a proper training routine. My running has suffered. I have missed races, missed track sessions and missed the discipline and consistency Coach Dave taught me from the beginning.
Worse is that the last 6 months have been really hard at work. Challenging. Maybe because it’s me that has been the challenger for a change. Nobody really likes that. No one likes the orange leaves.
I’ve lost a bit of my sparkle. I’ve lost my shine. I’ve become that orange Jacaranda tree which is still the beautiful tree that people marvel at during spring time, but fades into the background when the leaves turn orange and waits for winter to end.
I am bordering on desperate for spring to arrive. It hasn’t been that cold, but it’s been dry and long. You could see it in the brown dead grass as the sun rose during our training session. The frost melting as the air warmed up.
Soon those Jacaranda mimosifolias will be blooming and showing off their majestic blues and purple showers again. The colours of the leaves may change, but it’s still the same tree. And of course, it gets easier to run.