Sunday, March 23, 2014


Today I went running.

It's been awhile.  We've had a few things going on at home.  Which made it really easy for me not to prioritise something that is really important and good for me and instead stay home and drink wine.

But today I went running.

In the past I have said that running makes me feel like a freakin' Rockstar.

Well, today not so much.

Today I took all the wine, dark chocolate and ice-cream I have consumed since the last time I went running and strapped it to the top of my head.  There it sat weighing me down.

And instead of feeling like a rock star I felt like an eighty year old woman.  An eighty year old woman carrying another eighty year old woman on her back.  Up a hill.

I felt this way all the way around.  And it took forever.

I didn't make any personal best times.  No surprises there.  

But I did make it all the way around, which given how I felt was quite a surprise in itself.  The bigger surprise?  I did run up that really big hill, the one that scares me every single time.  And for the first time I did it twice.

So even though I felt frail and unfit, even though I had a stitch and then another stitch and then felt like I might actually need to vomit and constantly wanted to stop, I achieved something.  When it would have been so easy to listen to how I felt and give up I kept going.  And that, at least and if nothing else feels good.

Which just proves to me how much it is all about the mind.  Because my body was ready to give up, lie down, order a coffee and a stack of pancakes.

The struggle was definitely in my mind.  My body would keep going as long as I kept telling it to.  Because let's face it, I'm jogging 5ks here, I'm not making a perilous journey by foot carrying all my possessions on my back.  I'm not really likely to push myself to any kind of serious limit.  This I do know.

But I tell you what, convincing myself of this today was tricky.  I literally had to look down, just a foot or so ahead and keep telling myself to just keep going. Just one more step, just one more step.

Usually I'm looking at the sky, enjoying the dappled light through the trees, checking out the competition my fellow joggers with a nod and a knowing smile.  

Usually I'm rating myself against everyone out there.  Oh, come on, we all do it (don't we all do it?).  You know, how awesome it feels when you pass someone ("See you later sucker!") only to be passed seconds later by some guy who seems to be floating on air and not breaking a sweat.  It's a great leveler.

But today I had no room to look around, not a chance to be smug.  I was no doubt the slowest person there.  I did get a confidence boost by passing a few walkers on the way - hey, don't judge I needed all the help I could get.

Today it was quite literally about me and the gravel and my feet hitting it one step at a time.

And maybe it seems silly or trite to be putting so much importance on this.  It's only a jog after all.  But it was bloody hard and not much fun and I did it anyway despite myself and a tired body and wavering mind.  I did it and that feels good.

And you know what helped, alongside the gorgeous weather and some really, really loud music and a myopic focus on the ground one step in front of me. You know whose voice kept ringing in my ears?

Pippi Longstocking.  That red headed, free spirited, orphan girl who tells so many tales I'm not even sure I like her that much, nor if she's such a good role model for my daughter after all.  Pippi Longstocking.  Because in Chapter 3 Pippi says:

"But you can't expect that things will always be fun."  

And it was her bright voice I heard as I shuffled my way around and up the hill.  Twice.  

It wasn't fun.  But it was done.  And that is good.

Do you ever have to actively convince yourself to get something done?

Listen to Florence + The Machine Dog Days Are Over

Image Licensed Under Creative Commons


  1. I totally love it, check out the competition, we so do. So funny who pulls you into line at times, I'm glad Pippi Longstocking was there for you. Jo xx