During the first lockdown in 2020 (we like to call it, Lockdown 1.0), I started to go out every day before work and knock off 10,000 steps.
I was walking every day and it got to the point that it became a habit and something which I NEEDED to start my day with every day before work. It was what kept me SANE.
No 10,000 steps, no start work.
I had to be out there until my Fitbit buzzed.
Some time later, I had downloaded the Couch to 5K app and amazingly finished that. You can read about it in my post Couch to 5K. Then, for Lockdown 6.0 I downloaded the Couch to 10K app and amazingly, completed that too! You can read about it here.
The latter was done as an accident but I did it!
It was a hard slog as my Tweets seem to show (because I used my daily jogging attempts as ways to motivate me to complete them)…
However, my intention is not to become a marathon runner. If anything, what this exercise has shown me is that I prefer something like a 5 or 6km run. It seems to be “just right” for me. It also is about the time I start to get bored with what I’m listening to and my joints – ankle, hips start to hurt.
Doing a Park Run
Yesterday, after three previous failed attempts, I made it to the Karkarook Park Park Run.
The Park Run is a global event where people gather and run 5kms (or 10kms) at various local parks around the world. They occur on Saturdays at 8am and you can read about them here.
My boss, Paul Woods recently shared at a team meeting that he had completed his 51st park run and similarly, my friend Andrew Jacobs over in the UK also mentioned them to me. He has run 137 of them!
The night before the run was warm and I had decided to sleep in the other room on the other side of the house. I had opened all the doors and windows to capture any breath of wind but I was tossing and turning most of the night. The next day, as hubby left, as he does every Saturday, to the golf course, I looked at the time and it was 7:30am. I had exactly 2 minutes to decide whether I was going to do my first park run OR change my mind and go back to bed.
I chose the former and then raced around the house to get ready and bolted out the door.
You see, this was my third attempt at getting to a park run. Every time, I have these huge insurmountable hurdles in my head when it comes to leaving the house.
My Head Space
Truth be told, I reprimanded myself. I couldn’t pike out again for the 4th time. I have to take responsibility and FORCE myself to go outside the house, do something NEW and different and meet PEOPLE.
In the past, I wouldn’t think twice about doing this. In the last couple of years, I’ve noticed a real reticence in a lot of things. It’s not fear per se, as much as it is the IDEA of having to go out of my environment. Or having to PLAN for something when there’s a big likelihood that those plans would CHANGE.
In my head, things seem too insurmountable that at times, it’s just easier to STAY within the confines of your HOME and local area.
It’s as if, everything under this roof at home – and my parents home where I happen to frequent a lot – is SAFE, it’s KNOWN, it’s TRUSTED, it’s CONTROLLED.
In my home, I cannot be HURT.
In my home, I can CONTROL the outcome.
In my home, nothing will CHANGE on me so that I’ll be caught unawares.
Everything OUT THERE requires planning, co-ordination….EFFORT. At times, this simply is too much for me. I’ll find every excuse under the sun not to go.
As such, the constant excuses for the park run were mainly the fear of having to commit to this for a long time when I haven’t invested (in my head yet) whether I want to be running for the rest of my life.
However, it’s a ridiculous way to think about it!
Why am I thinking whether this is going to be a long term commitment? Why can’t I enjoy it
IN THAT MOMENT.
It’s as if this fear has been put into me about having to commit to something long term when you know that it’s likely to be changed, postponed or cancelled.
That’s not a way to live life. I’m denying myself opportunities because of some idiotic thinking.
However, once I got to the park and saw the people there, I checked myself in and chatted with a couple of the newbies. One lady mentioned to me that she was just getting herself back into running as she was recovering from COVID. I stepped a couple of steps away…..
There were 156 runners on the day and I completed the 5km which was 2 rounds of Karkarook Park – and I did it without stopping!
In the end, I did the run in 38min 51 seconds, came in 137th and was the 49th female and came in 6th for my age group.
Afterwards, the Run Director came by and we had a bit of a chat. He mentioned that I could come along every Saturday and try and beat my personal best score if I wanted.
I told him that running to me was less about time driven goals and more about mental health.
My biggest obstacle is my head and to constantly fight myself from retreating into my own shell all the time.
So it was fitting to see this recent video that was shared by Anne Marie Rattray on LinkedIn by Belgian artist Stromae.
This song pretty much exemplifies my headspace for the last couple of years – maybe not to the extent he mentions but certainly some kind of hell.