Today I had to deal with failure. A failure so great that not even doing Groovy Moves with Chris and Pui was able to cheer me up. What could possibly cause such depths of anguish? Well it’s this: I left home a runner and I returned home a failure.
For the very first time I failed to complete one of the runs in the Couch to 5k program. Every run so far has left me amazed with and surprised at myself, always having managed to do better than I expected. It may be with a heavy heart that I leave the house each time (I’m not a natural runner) but I normally return uplifted and raring to go again having lived to run another day. Today, I may as well have been running with one of my children strapped to each leg and an elephant on my back for good measure. My chest hurt. It was hot, too hot. My breathing was so heavy that people became aware of my presence 50 metres before I reached them.
After nearly 20 minutes I headed home, determined that I wasn’t actually going to stop before I got there but probably at this point being overtaken by pedestrians. I only had 10 minutes left to complete the 28 minute run but I’d given up. Curses on my lack of stamina and pathetically weak will. (My sense of failure was made all the worse by the fact that there were Paralympians hurtling round a marathon course today and I couldn’t even manage a paltry half hour.) I honestly shed a couple of tears.
But enough of my self-pity. On the upside, I did manage 3km which I certainly won’t sniff at given that in week 1 I was practically huffing up my internal organs after just 60 seconds of running. Plus, I had actually got out the door after over two weeks of procrastination. I am the Queen of Excuse Making once the novelty of any form of exercise has worn off:
- I’m too tired.
- It’s too late.
- I’ve got my period. (During which time you won’t find me roller skating, kite flying or wearing tight beige trousers despite what advertisers might lead you to believe ladies on the blob do.)
- It’s too dark. (I’ve added this one to prove that the excuses above really do relate to normal exercise and not ‘bedroom exercise’. For the latter it can never be too dark, right ladies?)
- It’s too hot.
- I have some work I really need to do. (That’s for when I’m really scraping the bottom of the excuse barrel.)
So why have I told you this? Because there are a hell of a lot of couch potatoes like me out there who every single day fight an internal battle with their lycra wearing alter ego. For most of us running comes as naturally as writing an upbeat, non-wrist slitting song does to Chris Martin (sorry, watching the Paralympic closing ceremony as I write …) but we still drag ourselves out to achieve whatever our goal may be. I reckon it’s okay to bugger it up every once in a while. I won’t give up if you won’t.