It’s ‘Buzzing’ and it’s just kinda happening.
I parked the car and was instantly hit by the smell of ‘New’ cut pine trees. That got me thinking. What is it about January that gets you laying the foundations for the next twelve months or more. Why not June? I guess it is just inbred from an early age, starting with ‘Happy New Year’ and New beginnings.
Apparently, every year, we look back at the previous twelve months. Yet, I didn’t. Upon thinking about it, the reason was clear. I was thinking in terms of the business of Accelerate – the financial year. April through March. So somehow the year had not really finished, merely a date change. So I kept running and mulling things over…
Running through the trees, watching the white-horses lap the waters edge of Dale Dyke it was increasingly clear that even the business had two different year ends and beginnings. It just depends on your perspective. Right now, we are seeing the New products that we ordered back in July, starting to arrive. This happens amidst a sense of excitement as each new box is delivered and everybody wants first glimpse and try-on of what ever is new and in-there. It kinda feels like Christmas all over again. Strange, but true. Then amongst all the packaging I have kinda already moved on. I am going through the whole process, yet again, of buying the next set of New things for the Autumn Winter and July onwards… wander if it will be really cold next winter, perhaps it’ll snow again. “Good God man we haven’t even got through this winter yet!”
Yet, financially I am looking at the year end and ensuring the business maintains all that it is doing. It is essential Accelerate survives through what are very tough times… “Tough times indeed”, I say as I plug away up the first pull of the run, that is both steep and into a head wind. Thankfully, like the business I was moving well, something that is always a relief. The climb takes me away from the waters edge and the protection of the trees as I head to open moorland and the full onslaught of a wind that is whipping the surface of laying water into my face. You just have to keep plugging away and doing the right thing. Running and Business, so related yet so… well what? One thing though is clear, work hard through the tough times of any run and the good times usually follow. Uhhmm… so can I really relate one windy run to the business of Accelerate?
Yes, Debs and I have have worked hard over the last three years and on February 5th Accelerate celebrates its 3rd Birthday. We are still standing and looking strong for the future – its amazing how much of a relief that feels. I reach the summit of a long climb of close to two miles. I am able to look across at an expanse of open moorland and can see the future of the route I am taking. My legs and lungs feel the relief of a downhill stretch and shelter from the worst of the wind. Yet as I look towards Back Tor, I can see the Foley that was built on the headland above Agden and Dale Dyke, over looking Strines. Yet, to start a business in the times of recession could be described as ‘Foley’.
A steady decent that allows my legs to ‘open up’ and run free is more than appreciated. A little light relief and also time to realise that despite the conditions I am moving well. With this I smile and Accelerate…
With this Acceleration comes the thoughts of New Beginnings and the year ahead. So much to do, to finalise and to set the foundations for. It is not just a pledge to get out and run more this year, it is also to ensure that everything that Accelerate is to be involved has benefit. I don’t just mean the business of selling shoes. Accelerate, is more than that. Has to be otherwise I just wouldn’t be involved. Wouldn’t want to be. There is a definite ‘Buzz’ about the place, the store, my (our) second home… The ‘Buzz’ that has come about, I guess, for many reasons. Yet, how do I (we) get across the fact we do what we do because we love what we do and yes we love to run… Everything has to make the business better, that is a challenge in its self, but to actually be giving back to running every step of the way. How on earth can we ever get that message across, how can we communicate it; it is about that which Debs and I love doing… it’s not about the pure essence of capitalism. It’s about Running, the pure essence of that experience, good times, bad times and New Beginnings.
The run just gets better. I am moving well today with a hint of speed – not much but just enough to realise I am getting fitter. I feel as though I have built a solid foundation since May and the leg operations. Like Accelerate there is a way to go and the foundations look strong, yet in both situations more is needed. Yet, it feels right, instinctively.
So I look ahead as the winding, grassy slope eventually gives way to a single track and technical running that I have to think about. Every step I look ahead to the next obstacle, jump, side step and hope the shoes grip on increasingly wet ground. The stride shortens and the cadence increases and my feet are definitely wet now!
Despite this I am thinking about what lies ahead at Accelerate. There’s the shoe buying for six months time and you have to have a silent prayer that you have the budgeting about right as you don’t want to trip on that one. Then there are the things I really want to get stuck into. Again we are involved with Shaff and the Expert Running Night (Ultra Running and Beyond) and have to say I am looking forward all that this brings…. Then there is the Gritstone Series and the wait for confirmation of dates… Not forgetting Team Accelerate Adventure Racing, a mighty fine bunch of people I have ever met. Then we are currently working on, what has been one of those dreams that we had when we first opened the doors to Accelerate, a weekend of running. The ‘Big Running Weekend’ is close to being finalised and with at least four different races over two days and something for just about every runner and showcasing the best running Sheffield has. Then we have a brand spanking new website to complete and launch… so much to do, so many New Beginnings…
So we have a semblance of a plan and a way ahead. I am thinking of this as I look ahead to end point of the run and the reward of the last mile or so being relatively flat and fast. First, through the old stone gate following the little yellow arrow to the valley floor and the lake side, this time with the wind to my back.
This may well be the end of this particular run, yet my mind feels free. This appears to coincides with my reaching the lake side path. I once again, Accelerate, pushing the pace whilst dodging tree routes and the lapping waters-edge of a rather full lake. Cadence increases and the speed seams to flow as my rate of breathing rises and the feeling of freedom is amplified by my surroundings, on a cool, all be it a little too windy, day.
I continue to gradually increase the pace, there is definitely no time to look back, only time to look ahead. My running and the business that is Accelerate is going well and Debs and I clearly have a way of working together, in all walks of life, that works.
And yes perhaps running a business is, well, like running… One things for certain though…
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Accelerate UK: Sheffield and the Peak's Largest dedicated Running Store Road Running, Fell and Trail, along with Adventure Racing are all covered in store. A wide choice of product is backed up with an unprecedented level of experience and running knowledge. At Accelerate we love our running, we would suggest it shows.