SOAR/In Residence: Oscar
Photography: Oliver Hooson
This series is our recognition of the unspectacular everyday beauty of running, and the routine it brings to three individuals’ lives in their immediate neighbourhood.
Oscar takes us on a local loop around Bermondsey, and tells us a bit about who he is and what running and the area mean to him.
In three words, why do you run?
Wealth of health
Are you going solo or do you like to make it a social?
Funny thing is as a cyclist I always prefer to make it a social, but as a runner I actually prefer going solo. There’s something meditative about just focusing on your breathing and drowning in your own thoughts. Lately I have been enjoying more social runs but, I think like everything, you’ve just got to do it with the right people.
Have a need for speed or easy like a Sunday morning?
Always a need for speed! I only prefer going easy if it’s a social thing.
Road, track or trail – if you had to choose just one?
And what are you doing when you're not running?
I’m mostly doing road cycling. But beside fitness hobbies, I’m usually caught indulging myself in economics/finance news or with my camera doing lifestyle photography.
What do you love most about Bermondsey?
Peaceful, yet accessible. It’s really important for me to live in a place where I can be away from the world and just feel like a normal local living in one area. It’s so nice to be a nobody sometimes. Bermondsey has such meditative charm to it. And yet if I need to, it is super easy to get to the bustle with a 15 minute bike ride or 30 minutes on the tube.
Where would you take us locally for a bite to eat?
Mayflower Pub. It has a perfect blend of energy and tranquillity.
Prefer to be out and about or chilling at home?
Is chilling on my balcony considered in or out haha? Chilling at home is my answer.
What's your favourite film?
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
What's the one object you couldn't live without?
It used to be my camera, but lately I think my bike is the one thing I really can’t live without. It has enabled me to see and experience so much in life. I’m super humbled by it.
Are you superstitious?
Yes, socks have to be on the right way. I only start my Garmin watch once the GPS signal is found. And I always double lace for good luck.
Can you tell us something you're really proud of?
I really have to say it’s me knowing absolutely no one when I first came to London 5 years ago to being where I am now – I am blessed with so many talented and kind-hearted people that the only problem I have is there’s never enough time to spend with them.
Who's your hero?
My mother. She showed me how to practice humility and share unconditional love.
Any guilty pleasures we should know about?
I know it’s not really good for the planet, but I have an innate ability to take a really long warm shower. I get my best ideas and quarrel comebacks from it.
And finally, advice you'd like to leave us with, be it running or otherwise?
Let’s all just take it easy and be kind to one another. Everyone’s trying their best to be their best. Smile more, be the first to say hi, ask more questions. And just love more.