For a while, it had been bugging me that I needed to get my farm pick-up truck into the garage for some minor repairs. Last week, I bumped into one of my mates who had been out of the country, living in Malawi for the last ten years. He has recently joined the Service Centre on the corner of Alpes Rd and Harare Drive. A real live wire and all-around good vehicle maintenance chap with a great pedigree on all things mechanical. The gentleman certainly hopped around taking WhatsApp pictures and getting the parts ordered, something that I have been struggling to do during lockdown.
He assured me that if I could get the vehicle round there on Monday he would have the parts on-site and get the job done. As always, with vehicles that have been sitting in the garage, you need to organise a backup plan to have a vehicle and driver follow you in order to bring you back after having left the vehicle there. I looked at this as a challenge and having always been fitness orientated, I hatched a plan. I would drive the vehicle to the service centre dressed in my running gear and then simply hit the road and run back home. I did not think it was too far from home to the garage and clocked it at around 7.3 km. Hopefully, I was in shape and that this was doable, little did I know!
Monday afternoon arrived and I drove in just around 4-ish, signed in and left the vehicle. My route back home would take me along Harare Drive across the Borrowdale Rd into Greystone Park past Piers Road down to the Gaydon Rolf Valley Roundabout down to the Harare Drive Bridge and home. I was nervously excited with my mask on at half-mast so that I could breathe, I eased into Harare Drive and settled into a gentle pace.
Running past the new Pomona Office Park with all the stunning new developments, striding comfortably in the wide yellow line with the sun setting behind me. I thought I was in paradise and certainly got the creative juices flowing, just simply switching off and enjoying the moment; taking my mind off completely of the stress of lockdown. After ten minutes I was completely at ease and really began to take it all in noticing every detail, savouring the beautiful April autumn afternoon. Simply magical. The afternoon commute and traffic flowed by, the drivers were courteous getting a few thumbs up, a couple of smiles and friendly waves. The old gentlemen security guards on the bikes heading for the night shift generously smiling and greeting with the all familiar hello Shamwari, Muri Bho. Even the normally manic Harare Drive, Borrowdale Road Robots were working with the motorists very observant and allowing me to have the right of way and run effortlessly through the intersection. Something I was dreading turned out to be a breeze.
By now I had covered more than half way and certainly began to feel my age and it got me thinking . Recently, in the news the Duke Of Edinburgh passed away , six weeks away from his 100 th Birthday a remarkable achievement in itself in getting to ninety nine point nine nine nine nine . How cruel and precious is life to nearly get there especially being the Queens Husband and then coming up short.
I quickened up my pace now as I was going to get there and conquer my Monday Afternoon challenge. Certainly, some great food for thought as I strode into my driveway I reflected on a few things. Firstly, may I give a rousing pom pom and round of applause to our frontline health workers, I was recently privileged to have had my Covid Vaccination at the Wilkins Hospital by a thoroughly professional Nursing Team who gave up their Easter holidays to roll out the vaccines. Secondly, as the sun sets may we all just take a moment wherever we are to bless our beautiful Nation Zimbabwe and the wonderful Zimbabwean people.
Distance run 7.3 kms in a time of 59 minutes, not bad for an old timer and half centurion on a Monday afternoon .