Tuesday, 20 September 2016

What I learned walking around the Yamanote Line in Tokyo on my birthday.


Yesterday was my birthday. Yes, another year older and wiser apparently. As I said in the video above, I started at 4.55am. The reason I did this was because I was born at 7.55am in New Zealand and so with the three hour time difference it meant leaving at 4.55am which was no problem although when the alarm clock went off at 4am a part of me was thinking to stay in bed and to sleep the day away. I'm glad that I got up and started. That's the most difficult part for anything, right? Getting up and getting started.

I had two reasons for wanting to do this. I heard that it was between 35 to 40 kilometres around so that was the challenge for me. Also, I wanted to do something that was a little bit different to celebrate my birthday. Most of us think that to celebrate our birthday we need to have a party and drink a lot of beers. For some people that is fun but some other people we like to do something a little different.

This reminds me of an episode from the hit comedy series Friends when they were talking about winning the lottery:

Chandler: OK, so now that you're in, what are you going to do if we win.

Ross: I don't know, I'll probably just invest it.

Chandler: Ooh! Calm down ...

Joey: Seriously , that's your fantasy? To invest it?

Ross: Oh, I'm sorry, did I say "invest it"? I meant "be cool and piss it all away."

The reason I like this scene is that we have this expectation about how to celebrate your birthday or how to celebrate winning the lottery, but why does Ross have to succumb to peer pressure or why do I have to celebrate my birthday in the "conventional" way?

For all of those who want to know, I didn't finish the full loop. I walked from my apartment to Shimbashi station and then started the loop. About 7 hours later I basically gave up. I could blame the fact that I had blisters on my feet or that I had a sore back from my workout a couple of days earlier or that I had a pair of shoes on that didn't really do the job or that I wasn't properly hydrating myself. The fact was that I got bored.

I started at 4.55am and by about 12.30pm I was bored. If I had someone else with me I'm pretty sure that I would have completed the course.

Even though I classify myself as an introvert it doesn't mean I am loner and even though I like to recharge either by myself or with one or two close friends it doesn't mean that I like to be by myself all the time. Yesterday's challenge would have definitely been a lot more fun if it was with someone else.

Maybe if I was with someone else I wouldn't have got lost. I got lost once in which I made the wrong turn and went probably 20 to 30 minutes out of my way, that combined with the fact that I walked the first part may have cost me the chance of at least getting to Gotanda instead of bailing out at Ebisu.

At the end of the day I'm glad that I got myself out of bed and walked for close to 8 hours and saw some interesting sights and I might try it again some other day but with someone else the next time. As I said that is why I couldn't complete it as I didn't have that social interaction.

I'm sure an extroverted person would probably be able to complete it by themselves as they would make friends along the way while I basically didn't talk to anyone. It just goes to show you that  big city can be a bit lonely from time to time.

After getting home I felt that I had done a day's work so just relaxed for the rest of the day. I talked with my parents and brother. I spoke with my friend as well so everything was pretty good. Who says you need a party with a whole bunch of friends? Not me.

 I had a pretty sore body from my workout a couple of days before and from walking. Maybe next time I will have to prepare a little bit more.

The good thing though was that in the past I might have made the excuse of not doing anything the next day but I got up early and was at the gym and although not at optimum capacity I still had a good workout.

The moral of the story is do what you want to do, not what society expects because if you do that you are no better than a flock of sheep.

Finally I would like to thank the people who supported me on social media. I wasn't going to publicise it on Facebook etc but I am pleased I did in the end. Some of your comments were very nice and it charged me a lot. Thank you.

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