Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Friday, August 25, 2006

Walking around courses


Something Aspleaf wrote reminded me of a few years ago when I walked around a number of O' courses. A bit of what he wrote, in rough translation:

Can't you just jog around the course?

My answer to this question has always been, "If I'm going to just jog around, I may as well stay home and jog from my own front door." The fun of orienteering is being able to push your body while, at the same time, being able to handle the navigation...

A few years ago when I was injured, I couldn't even jog around an O' course. Instead, I walked. I didn't expect it to be challenging. I didn't expect it to be interesting. I figured it'd be fun to get outdoors and to see other orienteers.

I decided that walking around a course might be interesting if I tried to be as efficient as possible - don't boom a second, don't take a step that isn't the best possible step I could take.

Walking around a course as efficiently as possible turned out to be surprisingly difficult. To be as efficient as possible - to make no mistakes - required a lot of concentration. If your mind wanders for just a few seconds you might, for example, take the wrong line around a downed tree and lose a few seconds. Because you're going slowly, you have to hold your concentration for a relatively long time.

So walking around courses wasn't so bad. Jogging around a course might be similarly interesting.

But, do you know what the best thing about walking around a course was? It gave you a real appreciation for how much more fun it is to run around an O' course. Being injured, being unable to run, really makes you appreciate being able to run. I remind myself of that when I'm shuffling slowly around on a cruddy, hot, humid day (like it was today).

Orienteering in Iceland

I did a few internet searches and didn't find any info about orienteering in Iceland. If anybody reading this knows of any orienteering in Iceland, please let me know. Thanks.

posted by Michael | 9:12 PM


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