There have been some lows over the past four weeks. But there have been some highs too. For me, those highs include cooking huge hunks of meat for my family and breaking speed records and my feet. Feet and meat. But how best to cook that big meat and who has the right of way on the streets? Runners or walkers?
There is one sure way to feel powerful in these uncertain times. To prove once and for all that you are the alpha.
Cook a massive piece of meat for your family. I cooked a 2.3kg eye fillet last week. Cooked it perfectly on the BBQ.
I was scared at first. Never done it before. Didn't want to ruin it.
So I went for a very simple method. Cut it in half. Cover it in olive oil and heaps of salt and soy sauce. Way more than feels right. Way more than can possibly be healthy. Then you heat up the barbie as high as it can go with the lid down. When the temp dial is about to break off you open the lid and slam the meat on the grill. Go 5 minutes aside. Then close it up again and let the meat ride for another 15. Run that closed BBQ around 190. No matter what happens, what horrors you hear in there, do not look. Then take it off, cover it and leave it out. Go inside. Hang out. Act casual for 40 minutes. Then when no one is expecting it, when all is quiet in the lockdown, sneak out, grab the slab and run back inside screaming 'meat' like a caveman. Grab a loaf of white death, butter, a knife and maybe some mustard. Then sit back and watch your kin ravage the beast. It's primal. You have provided a hot kill for your tribe. No vegetables.
In the last 10 days, I've perfectly cooked a leg of lamb, two chickens and boiled a silverside. Nothing has done more for my mental health than this meat cooking. I couldn't recommend it more.
Kiwis are doing the right thing and getting out of the house for their daily dose of fresh air. Some of us do this at pace, others prefer a stroll. Most of us have no problem with this duel speed approach. Live and let live. Unfortunately, there's been a bit of heat out there too. Several anti-runner articles have been circulated, backed up by a bit of online whining. For some, it's become a runners vs walkers thing.
Mostly New Zealanders are good at giving each other space. We are a fair, accommodating and extremely good looking people. But there are occasions when two metres isn't available and someone has to give way. Social distancing conundrums. So who has the moral right to go first? The people panting and sweating along at full tilt or those out for a nice friendly wander? Who should yield: the runner or the walker?
In my opinion, it's nearly always the walker who should give way to the runner. Not because we are fitter or more virtuous.
Not because we have tight buns and humiliating activewear.
No. The runner simply has more to lose. The precious seconds on our running apps. A walker who waits loses little. They are still out in the fresh air. Happy days.
But the runner is on the clock. Trying to lower their average time per kilometre. Chasing a PB (personal best). Furthermore, the runner gets through the gap quicker. Our impressive pace means the situation is resolved in a fraction of the time. A little delay for the walker and a cheerful wave of thanks from the runner. Yet another positive Kiwi interaction in this beautiful country of ours.
Unless of course, the runner is too shagged to wave. Sometimes we are too rooted chasing our PBs to do anything but keep running. But wave or not, know in our hearts we runners are grateful. Thanks, walkers.
We are going to level three tomorrow. Before we know it we will be back out in the world for real. Putting the country back together.
One day we will look back on this strange time from afar. There will be things that stand out. The sleepless nights. Things we lost. The video chats.
Hopefully, we have happy memories too. The laughs, the time with loved ones, the handwashing. I plan to look back fondly at my time pounding the pavements, the good people that gave way and the big juicy hunks of meat I slapped down in front of my family.