Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you deal with it

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Like everyone, there are some things that I find more difficult than others. But I have decided to challenge myself on several of these in one go. Because I believe in the quote above, in this time of self-isolation I have decided to attempt to do the Couch to 5k over the next 9 weeks and to blog about it. This will challenge me in three ways:
  1. I am not comfortable with expressing myself so openly. I am a very private person and I also find the written word difficult; this is a throwback from my recently diagnosed dyslexia and terrible experiences in education as a child. So, anything that I write that is going to be read by others has me agonising over every sentence.
  2. I hate not finishing something I have started; it makes me feel like a failure. And so, to start something that fills me with dread, that I know I might not be able to finish, and to bring you along for the journey to see my terrible failure, is terrifying.
  3. Lastly I hate running. In fact, hate is too mild a word for it. I detest it, it makes me angry.

So why, you may ask, have I decided to do this? Well, under normal circumstances I exercise regularly to maintain my physical and mental wellbeing. This takes the form of going to the gym and swimming every week. Now the gyms are shut it is important that I find something else because I know that if I don’t exercise that my mental health will deteriorate.

And why running? Well, I don’t like being beaten by anything. And because I detest it and I would like to see if I can change that. I haven’t run for anything other than a bus since school, where I always came last in any race. I was so slow in cross country that there was one occasion that they had to send out a search party for me (*true story). I have also been inspired by my colleague, Louise, who did this challenge in 2018. She now says that she enjoys running (well, enjoys might be too strong a word, ‘dislikes less’?), and she is still doing regular 5K runs. Before it was cancelled she was training to do the Blenheim 7K run to raise money for Restore. (Thank you for your inspiration Louise!)

But I hear you say that you could do that and not tell anyone, so if you didn’t complete it you wouldn’t have to own up and could keep your failure to yourself – damage limitation. Of course, I had thought of that. Thing is, deep down I know that attempting something new and not succeeding is not a failure but a success. And the failure nonsense is my baggage, no one else’s, and I need to get over it!

There are no limits to what you accomplish, except the limits you put on your own thinking.

So I invite you to come with me on this challenge, and if I fall at the first hurdle I am determined to congratulate myself for trying rather than chastising myself for failing.

The Reluctant Jogger and Dog