Fears are stories we tell ourselves

with No Comments

Week Three, Day Two: 9 April

The butterflies had a slight edge of hysteria today, I could feel the tendrils of panic reaching for me, it wasn’t bad but it was there.

Writing this blog has had some surprising benefits. I am enjoying searching for quotes, I usually copy all the ones I like on to a quotes page and then choose the one that I think best fits the instalment I have just written. But it has also made me really analyse my thoughts and feelings, something I am not sure I have done very much before. By writing about my thoughts and feelings, I think it is important to explore what is causing them. In doing this, I am finding a greater understanding of how my psyche (noun – the human soul, mind or spirit) works and this results in me feeling more in control of myself.

The last run took me to a place that scared me a little. Fear and anger are, I believe, closely linked. If you remember, in my very first blog I said that running made me angry. Today I may have worked out why…

I think I have probably had asthma since I was a child. This made doing sports at school really unpleasant. As you know, you can’t opt out of PE when you are a child, so I was forced to do something that left me feeling wretched and struggling to breath, which is scary. I don’t want to make this sound worse than it was; if I did have asthma it must have been very mild, which is why it wasn’t picked up. Everyone, including myself, just thought that I was rubbish at sports. But my point is that when I was struggling to breath in the last run, it brought back those feelings I had as a child. When I had no choice but to troop out to the sports pitch on a freezing morning, and having to run up and down a hockey field for an hour without ever being able to keep up with the others. (Thinking about that has just brought back the smell of hops, there was a large brewery in the town I went to school in and some mornings the aroma of hops, which to me smelt like Weetabix, was incredibly strong).

That’s enough psychobabble from me, let’s get on to the run itself.

Another beautiful day but, again, cold. I have been really lucky with the weather so far. I am trying to keep the slight feeling of panic at bay by reminding myself how I felt when I completed the last run, which struck me as something noteworthy. Although it hadn’t been easy I finished further away from home and still had a little way to go after the cool down walk, at which point I thought I could do another short run here (I didn’t!) but I thought it and that startled me.

So here we go…warm up walk to Patti Smith (still not sorted the shuffle!) and managed the 90-second run reasonably well. I made a real effort to keep my pace slow for the first 3-minute run and got though it ok, no Honking Goose today! Second 90 seconds the same, and then on to the last 3-minute run. Just before the last 2 runs Sarah Millican tells you it’s about to start and says “Remember to keep calm”. I find that strangely reassuring. If she is saying this on the app, then others must feel some level of panic too, so it’s not just me, it always helps to know you are not alone.

The last 3-minute run was tough, partly because there were more people out this morning, I am managing to get out before 6.30am and the last 2 mornings I haven’t seen anyone, but today I saw 2 walkers and 3 dog joggers. Most of these during my last run, which distracted some of my attention (ensuring I was keeping a safe distance) so I wasn’t quite as focused on my pace and I also had to keep calling Dog who had stopped to say hello to the other dogs. When it was over I was breathing very hard but still no Honking Goose and no panic. Another run completed and I am feeling chuffed with myself.

If you are thinking of doing something similar take care to stay safe.

To do this I am:

  • Keeping social distancing. I aim to get out by 6.30am (I am a lark not an owl), so there are very few people around, and if I do meet them I stay 2 meters away.
  • I have my phone with me, and someone knows where I am going and when I am due back.
  • And, of course, I have Dog with me.
Top tips to keep you safe and well during this strange time.
  • Keep to the self-isolating and social distancing rules.
  • Keep in contact with friends, family, and, of course, Restore.
  • Find a routine and stick to it (I can’t emphasize enough how important this is)
  • Every day do something for your physical and mental well-being. On the days I am not running I go out for a walk. I am also doing a 21-day meditation challenge with 2 friends. This benefits my well-being as well as keeping me connected every day. There are plenty of meditation apps out there, but if that isn’t your thing then find something that nurtures your soul. This can be as simple as listening to the birds sing or gazing up at the stars.
  • Set yourself a challenge. This could be big or small, it’s entirely up to you.

These are just a few ideas and there are plenty more out there. The Restore website has a directory of useful and trusted websites with information, tips and ideas, here.

The Reluctant Jogger and Dog