These shoes are made for running

And that’s just what they’ll do!

In my effort to train for a 10K race, I am learning new things every day. My latest fascination in the whole world of running is all the different shoes available. Yes, I realize that this is probably pretty obvious, but I just hadn’t given it much thought before. And any attempts at running I had previously made were rudely interrupted by bad shoe choices on my behalf.

My fantastic green running shoes are light as a feather and make my running lighter, easier, and more graceful (or so I would like to think:-)).

The fact is that the shoes make a HUGE difference. I love them! And I’ll keep on running as a result.


Slowly building a new self image

A self image, the way we look at ourself, is a powerful thing.

Whatever we believe ourself to be, with conviction, then that is what we are.

Sometimes, if it’s a strong, positive self image, it would work in our favour. But if it’s a limiting self image, one that maybe has been created over time without thinking about it’s negative impact, one that stops us from achieving something of importance to us – then it needs to be changed.

My self image when it comes to running, is that I don’t!

Specifically, I have always said “I’m not a runner”, and I may have done all sorts of sports in my life, but running has never, ever been on the agenda. Until now.

Now that I’ve decided to run a 10K race, it’s time to build a new self image, brick by brick.

It’s funny how it works though, the mind. Even as I had made the decision to enter the race, I kept saying to people that “I’m not a runner”. And I’ll tell you what, that’s not a helpful self image to have if you want to be able to complete a 10K race!

So it must be changed, this self image of mine. And the app that I’ve engaged to help me, helps me to do that too. The way the training programme on the app works is that it started me off running 30 seconds out of every 5 minutes on my 45-60 minute walk/run. And then it slowly builds. So now I run 1,5 minutes out of every 5 minutes.

I’m a 1,5 minute runner!

And it works, I am slowly building a new self image when it comes to running. I couldn’t start by saying “I’m a 10K runner” because I (my mind!) wouldn’t have believed it. But it’s worked to say “I’m a 30 second runner” (sure, I can do that, the mind thinks), and then “I’m a 1 minute runner” (if I can do 30 seconds, I can probably do 1 minute) and now “I’m a 1,5 minute runner” (Yes, why not, I am slowly getting more stamina, I can do 1,5 minutes now).

And the feeling is fantastic! Slowly and steadily I am building a new self image, and it’s working.

I’m a 1,5 minute runner! This is currently my running self image.

And next week I’ll be a 2 minute runner:-)

It works. Step by step by step, little by little. That’s how we build a new view of ourself. It’s really cool:-)

Run now!

My app has guided me through a successful first running/training session!

It’s a beautiful morning and with the extra support of some good trance tracks (thank you Rich!), I had a very enjoyable fast walk (with some short running intervals) of about 40 minutes.

So what have I learned so far?

To be patient. Most training efforts fail because people are too much in a rush, want to overdo it, run a bit further, push themselves a bit harder – and then give up, because it feels too hard.  We have to crawl before we can walk – or in this case walk before we can run:-)

My second (renewed) insight from this morning is that most people don’t complete what they start because there are too many temptations to stop or do something different before you get to the goals. And one of the biggest culprit here is of course our own mind, our mind who keeps reasoning with us – “should I, shouldn’t I, maybe I should…instead” – well, you know how it works.

The key to completion is to stop the mind from even having this discussion with you – take away the option of doing something different. And just do it.

And this is exactly how my app is working. It, or she (I’ve named her Sam!) will tell me exactly when to walk and when to run – “Run now! – and all of a sudden that is no longer up to me and so I do it. Brilliant!

I made a commitment to myself, together with a couple of friends, that this was going to be the year of Completion – and it sure is looking that way! I don’t want to stop now.

Creating a new habit

I’m not sure what possessed me, but I have decided to start running.

And typical for me, I can’t just start running, I have to enter a running race. Oh no, not yet, it’s not until 1 September, but the clock has started ticking. 159 days to go.

So it’s high time for me to create a new habit, the habit of running. Like everything else it needs some discipline to create a new habit – determination and staying power.

To help me in my endeavor, I have enlisted the help of an iPhone app, which has promised to take me from “couch potato to 10K in 13 weeks”. It sounds just right actually, something that will tell me exactly what to do and when:-). But that is of course only part of the solution.

I will stop talking about myself as a non-runner. I have only recently realized that that’s exactly what I do. So my first step is to create a new self image when it comes to running:

I’m a runner!

I’m a runner!

I’m a runner!

There, I’ve started. It’s a small step, but our self image tends to have self-correcting power, so it’s a crucial step.

There’s loads more to come, and I’m ready – bring it on!

Living in the moment – memories from summer school breaks


Do your childhood summers have a rosy shimmer about them? The way they do when we only remember the good things. Mine do.

My shimmering summers were mainly spent in two place – in Luleå, at our wonderful Lillängen and onboard “Geishan” in the archipelago, close to the Arctic Circle  – and at Väddö in the beautiful area of Roslagen, northeast of Stockholm.

During the 60’s and 70’s we spent a number of summers at Väddö, at an Anti Aircraft Practice Territory to be precise – a military practice territory right by the Sea of Åland. During the summer months, hundreds of young men lived here while doing their military service, and  then there were 6-7 cottages for the senior officers and their families – we were one of those families.

Somehow the world stood still out there. Maybe it was because we were so isolated – it being a military territory meant no-one was allowed in unless they had a pass.

So there we lived in total peace and quiet (apart from the daily practice shooting at air plane “sausages”!) Memories are mixed with photos and film that mum and dad took and it’s hard to know what’s truly remembered and what’s been reminded through those captured moments. It doesn’t matter.

What I remember is that we somehow just “were”, completely in the moment, taking each day as it came, did what we felt like doing, in harmony with weather and other circumstances.

We rowed out to sea, we went swimming regardless of temperature, we fished from the jettee in the bay, we chased each other on the cliffs, had a “foot bath” in the puddles in between the sea cliffs – and as we got older – played tennis, read books, played cards and bought sweets as the mess hall (checking out the guys!)

There was no phone, no dish washer, no washing machine and no shop. And that was OK. I remember how we would go back to town to wash clothes every two weeks or so. Or we went in to the nearest town, Norrtälje, to go for a treat at the local café – a real luxury!

These memories are so stongly anchored in me that I can recreate the feeling of them whenever I want – like pressing a “memory button”.

Do you do the same thing with your memories? Do you find the inspiration, the calm, the driving force, the joy in your best memories?

Take a moment and remember, tapping into the power of those memories. Maybe remember your childhood summers. But not to be sentimental and live in the past  – no, simply to be able to live the best life you can, now.

Then take a moment and live in the moment, in the here and now. This is something us adults can do too (I have a lot to learn from my childhood summers:-)) – to just be. And apart from the pleasure of living in the moment, to really experience what happens today – imagine what great memories we are creating for the future!