The seduction of the setback

After much excitement of starting my journey towards being able to run 10K, I had a setback. One of those typical, annoying ones – I got a cold! Sore throat, runny nose, heavy head – there was just no way I could or should run. So I had to pause my running (mainly walking) practice for over a week.

And then, there it was. After the initial annoyance, I got comfortable with not running, it all of a sudden seemed easier not to do anything. Of course it is! But it’s that voice of seduction, to fall back into the easy option, to not make the effort.

So I had to remind myself that it’s not even up for discussion.

I’ve decided that I’m going to do this.

So a few days ago I got started again, or continued after my little “break”. And it feels good, particularly good as I almost got lead astray by that lazy voice in my head.  But just almost, and now not at all. I’m back.

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!

You have a choice


You have a choice. Now, today, tomorrow and all the days to follow.

A choice of

  • how to spend the day
  • how to feel
  • how to think
  • how to approach and treat other people
  • how your day will be
  • how you will act
  • how you will react
  • how you will do generally
  • how others will percieve you

Your’re not a victim.

Not of the weather.

Not of other people.

Not of circumstances around you.

You choose. Take that control over your life. And then you can choose the quality of life that you desire. As a result your situation is  not in the hands of other people or circumstances.

Don’t give your power away. Lead yourself. Live without regrets or accusations. Take responsibility for your situation. Choose joy and gratitude.

All we have is here and now after all.  And it’s only really the here and now that we can take control over.

As Viktor Frankl (Austrian psychiatrist, concentration camp survivor and author of “Man’s search for meaning”) so wisely said:

“The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose ones attitude in any given circumstance.”

So make your choice. Are you ready? Will you choose a good or a bad day?

It’s your choice, nobody else’s. You choose the quality of all aspects of your life. Pretty cool, hey!

Don’t put it off – live today

Kite Haga park

Do you ever procrastinate? Think that you should really do something, but you can’t be bothered, or you’re too tired or you think it can really wait? Don’t we all!

Don’t put things off though. All we have is today. I don’t mean that in a horrible, “doomsday” kind of way. I mean that the past is behind us, we can’t change that – the future is in front of us and we can’t control that (we can plan and prepare – and then prepare to have to be flexible because it will all change anyway!).

All we have is today. So live it today. Really take care of today. Make the most of your day. Don’t just cram it full of things, but live it with joy – enjoy the moment. Do the things that make you feel good.

I got the very sad message yesterday that a dear, dear relative had passed away and I am sad to think that I didn’t stay in touch enough. I kept thinking “I’ll do it tomorrow”.

So in her memory, I say –  let’s take care of today, let’s really live today – not just pass the time. Gini – this is for you.

I love the lines below, first given to me by a person who attended a personal development programme I ran in Sussex about 10 years ago. Thank you – it continues to be an inspiration.

Look well to this day

For it is life

The very best of life.

In its brief course lie all

The realities and truths of existence,

The joy of growth, the splendour of action,

The glory of power.

For yesterday is but a memory.

And tomorrow is only a vision.

But today well lived

Makes every yesterday a memory of happiness

And every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well, therefore to this day.

Ancient Sanskrit Poem