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a blog by Chris Barrow

Back to reality after India

I appreciate that most people reading this may have already successfully cranked up the engine again after the Christmas and New Year break.

In my case, Annie and I made our Heathrow connection to Manchester last night by the skin of our teeth and with the help of a lot of very nice people from Jet Airways (getting us first off their flight, UK Immigration who fast tracked us both (yes – I know), an enterprising London cab driver from T4 to T5 who drove us the wrong way around the airport to avoid road works (still faster than the Heathrow Express) whilst telling us stories from his 25+ years of driving and a very nice lady named Narinder at British Airways check in, who tagged our bags and then walked us through Fast Track security (without a ticket) to make sure that we made gate A9 on time.

So we arrived back (courtesy of a pick up by Jon Barrow at Manchester Airport) at 22:00 last night, after a 20-hour day, to two hysterically excited Hungarian Vizslas and a happy daughter.

My time at home and in The Bunker is brief.

I’m leaving for 4 days of UK business travel at 17:00 this evening and today will be a combination of laundry, preparation and getting work stuff done. Personal finance update, emails, tasks, meetings.

It genuinely seems like a month (and not 10-days) since we left for India and the level at which I need to re-connect with my clients, team and tasks is on the same scale as returning from sub-tropical islands or desert expeditions – which puzzles me as I’ve been online from most of our Indian hotels and have kept on top of the flow.

I guess that India is such a total culture shock that just getting back to the UK winter climate, the traffic (what traffic?) and the “routine” will take some time.

India has taken it’s toll on my physically – I suffered from a head cold and chest infection whilst there and, of course, eventually succumbed to the inevitable lower-gut infection (still enduring in that department).

The work and play schedules were both intense and we only really took 1 day in the 10 to do nothing.

We are both exhausted and I’m a bit broken.

The result of that was a decision yesterday to withdraw from the Trail Marathon I was supposed to be running in Anglesey this weekend. It’s an unusually tough course and, frankly, there comes a point at which even stupid men wake up to the facts – in this case that I’ll do more damage than good if I take part.

So I’ll be searching for another event ASAP, to allow myself to physically recover and retrain but maintain my target of 11 marathons for the year.

It’s important for all of us to recognise our limitations at some point and stop trying to be the hero.

India has, however, delivered generously to my mind and spirit, even though my body has suffered.

I’ve already written about some of those experiences in my last post so there’s no need to go there again.

The challenge now is to face forward, to look at this week, this month, this quarter and this year and to begin again, relentlessly pursuing excellence in what we do.

Here we go again.

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