As I write this I’m just back from what I will have to call a jog ( I could hardly classify it as a run☺️) with my dog around the forest near my home. It’s my third this week and although slow and plodding, I didn’t stop and am feeling a real sense of achievement and satisfaction that I haven’t felt for a while. I’m certainly not looking for a round of applause here , it’s just that if you had told me I would be feeling this way last week I wouldn’t have believed you.
Last week I was in low mood, fuelled by frustration and sadness at being unable to help dear friends and also family who are struggling with health issues. My diet had suffered (despite my knowing better ), I wasn’t exercising bar walking the dog and my quality of sleep was suffering.
A short break away with my partner changed all that and I credit him for helping me get back on track. Mick is training for a local triathlon he competes in annually, it’s not a hugely serious event as amateurs and athletes alike enter, but is hugely enjoyed by all and well supported in the village. In the spirit of making the most of our time together, I thought I’d join him in the pool for a few lengths, and that day I didn’t achieve much, still wound up from events at home. But over the next few days we swam , took long walks with the dog and I joined him on a run. I knew I couldn’t go as far or as fast and he would have to leave me behind. But what was the alternative, not to try at all? And the benefits I am feeling 10 days on in my headspace, sleep patterns, mood and fitness, not to mention our relationship are huge.
I competed in the triathlon myself once, yes just once. Why not again? Because I gave myself a myriad of excuses why I couldn’t train/fit it in. Yes I can see now that I was perimenopausal and struggling with fatigue, hot flashes,low mood and anxiety. But if only I’d appreciated then how maintaining a regular exercise schedule would have helped me manage and indeed reduce those symptoms. What I try and tell myself now is “I can” not “I can’t”. I can make it up that first hill and I will. So what if it’s pigeon steps as I jog upwards, it doesn’t matter, I made it to the top. That’s what I told myself this morning as I approached it. That voice inside my head starts to say “ooh that’s steep I’ll never make it”. But I said to myself, you have made it twice this week already so of course you can do it a third time, and I did and it was a teeny bit easier and extremely satisfying.
Mandy and I had the great pleasure recently to listen to a talk given by the hugely motivational life and fitness coach, Pete Cohen. Pete talked about finding out what was your ‘duck’. What is it that thing that stops you doing what you want to do or achieve? He said find out what your duck is and once you have found it ” Don’t you just want to shut the duck up??!”
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