So, after my frankly disappointing commitment to my ‘Zombies, Run!’ app (see here) and following a change in my hours at work, I bought myself some new gym clothes and went running along the same road I once wrote about (see here). As with yesterday, I made a few observations:
1. It’s important to pace ourselves.
I am horrendously, shockingly, overwhelmingly unfit. My challenge was to reach my destination without stopping – I failed. I failed because I ran too hard too fast and used up all my energy. It’s so easy for us to do this in other areas of our lives too, only much more difficult to recognise. By pacing ourselves; that is, to spread our energy wisely and efficiently rather than consuming it all in a short burst, we are able to go much further and do much more. I’m slightly better at pacing myself generally than I am at running, but I used to be dreadful. I’ve still got a long way to go!
2. Perseverance creates milestones.
Disappointed in my failure, I decided that I was going to sprint up to the top of the hill to ‘redeem’ myself. Stupid reasoning aside, I took to the hill and about half way up I was literally gasping for breath. I kept going – I refused to be beaten so easily twice in one day. About three quarters of the way up the hill I thought I was going to pass out but forced myself to carry on out of a stubborn rejection of failure. Oh my, don’t I sound brave? Don’t read too much into it, the hill is probably no more than a gentle slope for you and do remember that my fitness is beyond pathetic, so this is no great achievement in general. Nevertheless, I reached the top of the hill. I’ve never made it all the way up before…I’ve certainly never sprinted up it and never, ever after running so far (for me) before it. It was a huge milestone for me, and a massive victory for my mind.
Sometimes, life feels like running up that hill. There are times where we will feel like we are gasping for breath and unable to continue… persevere. I strongly believe that it’s in our steadfastness that we achieve greatness. To add another old post of mine, take wartime Britain. In such incomprehensible adversity our predecessors pushed on and changed history as a result. It’s in our perseverance that we often reach milestones in our lives. Perhaps you want to play a certain piece of music on your instrument – persevere. You’ll get there. Perhaps you want to rectify a broken relationship but you feel like you’re banging your head against a brick wall. Persevere. Whatever the situation that you’re facing, never give up. You will get to where you want to be.
3. We are capable of more than we think!
So compared to you, I’m sure my run was fairly pathetic. But I pushed myself further than I thought I would be able to go. I ran much further than I thought I was capable of, despite almost giving up half way through. In fact, going running after work was a first for me, but I made it! My evening now involves a meeting and a trip to the cinema to see Batman (again) – believe me when I tell you that this is far more than I thought I would be capable of today.
Don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t do. I’m constantly surprised at how far my pathetically weak body can take me if I push it. I’m sure that if you push yourself, whether at work, with your studies, your family or with even with your fitness, you can do far more than you ever thought possible. Make sure you pace yourself, but give it a go. What have you got to lose?!
And so we’re here again. Three observations from running!