(Un)comfortably numb…

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On Saturdy night, my Dad and I had a bit of father/son time. We spent a most enjoyable evening squeezed into a hot, stuffy Marina Theatre in Lowestoft watching a very fine Pink Floyd tribute act called “Think Floyd”.

In the space of a couple of hours, Think Floyd expertly played their way through two of Pink Floyd’s albums, “The Dark Side of the Moon” and “Wish You Were Here” and they did it really, really well.

Now, I’m guilty of letting some of my Dad’s musical preferences from when I was a kid influence my own tastes and I have to say I do like a bit of Floyd.  The guitar solos alone are just something to be admired, although I do confess that some of the Pink Floyd content is, well, a bit weird.

Let’s take as an example the encore track that Think Floyd finished off with on Saturday. It’s the same encore track I’ve seen them finish off with several times now and it is the magnificent “Comfortably Numb” from the 1979 album “The Wall” (already you can see a running theme coming here can’t you?).

For those who aren’t particularly clued up about Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” album, it is a concept album set around a fictional rock star called “Pink” whose life experience has left him alienated from reality and in a really, really bad way. There was a movie version of the album in which the role of Pink was played by Bob Geldof, but I digress.

The lyrics of “Comfortably Numb” are essentially a conversation between a doctor (who is trying to get a drug addled Pink stable enough to play a gig) and Pink himself, who is obsessively and deliriously reflecting on a childhood illness he once sustained (like I said – it is a bit odd, but the guitar solos are amazing!).

On my long run on Sunday morning (23 miles – new PB for distance, I thank you!) and with Think Floyd still ringing in my ears, I couldn’t help but draw similarities between the world of Pink and the world of long training runs.

In “The Wall” Pink is a pretty self destructive character and I’m sure that running marathons is also a form of self destruction. Ask anyone with a brain remotely larger than a strawberry whether getting up at 6am to run 23 miles is sensible or in the best interests of your health and you’ll probably get a resounding “No!” bellowed back at you. Given the dehydration headache I had all afternoon and the dull ache in my legs, I’d also offer that my long run has only caused me damage. Clearly there is an element of self destruction at play here.

In Comfortably Numb, Pink is given an injection by the doctor to get him stable enough to play a gig. Now whilst I wasn’t popping a cocktail of illegal drugs before my run as Pink was before his show, I was certainly guzzling my way through enough energy gels and sports drink to keep me going over the distance. OK, so they were not administered by a doctor with a syringe, but it’s still a science induced pick me up to help with the main event.

At the end of my Sunday run, I performed what I can only describe as a quality warm down routine. I laid down in my back garden and stared up at the sky whilst my daughter ran around my prone, broken body giggling. As I lay there in a bit of a stupor, the final lyrics of the previous night’s performance ran through my head: “I have become, comfortably numb”. Yep, that’s about right. Now bring me that guitar solo…

I’m running the Brighton Marathon and Holkham Outlaw Half raising funds for the East Anglian Air Ambulance. To donate, please visit my JustGiving page HERE

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2 thoughts on “(Un)comfortably numb…

  1. A fantastic read show casing your determination and dedication. I wish you all the very best for what is a truly wonderful cause.

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    1. Thanks Marc – I’m really glad you enjoyed it. The training has been great and having now managed a couple of 20+ mile runs I’m well placed for race day. I just need to ensure I don’t injure myself before the event. Once the marathon is done, the triathlon training will be ramping up!

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