I am not one to write about my achievements, least of all my sporting ones. I can’t stand the flurry of gym-based, guilt-making, egoistic posts people vomit onto Facebook declaring their efforts and I re-posted a status once that said “Unless you fell off the treadmill and fell flat on your face today, I don’t care how far you ran”.
So what I am about to write would seem totally uncharacteristic and more so for those of you who know me personally and know how seemingly impossible this task is, which I have failed to complete on numerous occasions, and which I have openly said I HATE and canNOT see the point of ever doing.
I am sitting in the garden. I have just been for a jog. I have just jogged 1.2km twice. Which is 400 metres more than I did a few days ago, which is 800 metres more than I have run since I was forced to do so at school – 14 years ago.
There is nothing easy about this. It’s something I tried to do when I was in Australia: embarrassed at how quickly I tired running around after the children as a nanny. I tried it before that on the cattle station, terrified that if I ever needed to run to for help, I would never make it. I tried again this time last year, twice, determined to conquer a long-standing fear of running and long-lived hatred of it. I used to joke, and rightly so, that I couldn’t run to save my life. And until now I have genuinely believed that to be the case. Here’s one of two posts I wrote about my first attempt at jogging:
It’s not just a question of lack of will power. It’s not just because I favour beer drinking over gym sessions. I have good reasons to have had to quit each time which are mostly centred around pain, fear connected to it and some other stuff. See this post I wrote about two years ago, when living in Perth, Australia. https://graceeliz.wordpress.com/2013/07/13/the-gratitude-of-pain/
2 years later, I never expected to be sitting here, considerably comfortably, having just been for a pain free jog. I am fighting many demons in doing so, one being this fear of someone I know seeing me. In fact, this horrible notion of anyone seeing me makes it very hard for me to get going, and less so jogging around the hilly village when I am back here.
What got me started once again was a good friend S who lives in Perth, who was very encouraging when I attempted it last time. She sent me a link, to a fun run in Exeter next month. Before I even attempted to put on my trainers, I signed up, on a whim. I didn’t tell anyone and for the first four weeks of following Couch to 5K, I kept it to myself – nervous to tell people in case I found I couldn’t manage it, again. Once I got past my nemesis, week 3, which I had never progressed past before, I told a few people, and today I am announcing that on the 30th May I am going to run 5km, have coloured dye thrown at me, and be seen by lots of people. I am terrified, but excited to have the opportunity to do something I never thought possible.
I don’t particularly want an audience, nor do I think it right to ask for sponsorship. I am not even running with anyone by my side. My parents might come, in fact I would love someone to be at the finish line with a cold beer and I am looking forward to being able to say I can run 5 km (4,900 m further than I thought possible for GracieLiz), which is over 3 miles, which is further than I have ever been able to walk on some days. It deserves a blog post because after years and years, I have gone from Can’t to Can. And it’s a massive F – you to all of the reasons why I couldn’t.