What an amazing experience returning to Christchurch since my last visit in 2010 (before the quakes) for a course and finding an entirely different city.
I always like to run while I am away from home – getting a chance to have some time for myself and a good deal less responsibilities.
I popped on my Treksports and headed out into the warm (20degC!) early evening, running through the suburbs.
Running is so much slower than driving, and I got the chance to really get an idea of how much destruction is still evident- all the roads are criss- crossed with patched up tar, and many homes are still sporting either superficial or significant damage, partially repaired or completely abandoned as if time has stopped since the last quake.
I glimpse a large park of soft grass, and heading over pull off my shoes and do a few laps barefoot with my warm feet along the cool grass, a great way to revitalise the proprioceptors after the days’ travels. As I put my fives back on to head back to my accommodation, I reflect on the mood of the city.
To be honest, I was never overly fond of Christchurch, but now I like it far more than I had the first time I was there. So many people have so much less to lose and I think of Brad Pitt’s quote in the movie Fight Club “The things you own end up owning you”. There is a renewed “freshness” and liveliness to the city, a spirit of freedom and energy as the city begins to adapt to the change.
Suddenly Christchurch has become a very special city with a lot of soul, and I hope to be back soon to enjoy it some more!
A few Travel Tips
- Drink plenty of water
- If you plan to go for a run when you get off the plane, be sure to walk around a bit first, and regardless of the flight time be sure to wear compression socks for the flight. It doesn’t matter how young and healthy you are or how short the flight was, everyone gets some degree of venous pooling which will negatively affect your ability to run and recover.
- Do a little bit barefoot if you can – it wakes up those proprioceptors more than anything else.