Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Shut up and Run

A windy day in Hastings

I saw my counsellor last week and quite frankly, I was an emotional mess. I'd spent the previous three weeks wanting to cry all the time, I felt worthless and sad and demotivated. And I was so tired. There were some good days, but mostly I was distracting myself with insane amounts of crochet which was good and bad because it's great for shutting everything out and thinking about an immense amount of stuff all at the same time. 

Well I talked to my counsellor about how I was just so tired of overthinking things. It's not like a worry as such, I don't worry about everything. I get swept into a downward spiral of negative and honestly horrible thoughts about myself to the point where I don't think there's any point whatsoever in going on. It's a bit hard to explain but I guess the biggest effect it has on me is it stops me from doing good things for myself like eating healthily, exercising, even getting enough sleep. Sorry, I know it's morbid. I know deep down I wouldn't harm myself so don't send me the Samaritans number just yet. 

In the few days before my counselling session I was feeling pretty bloody depressed and Nick was being really sweet by trying to get me to run. Despite his best efforts this just made me feel worse. I had promised myself (and him) that we'd both start running again on the 5th September but I was feeling too sorry for myself to do it. He sent me a link to a post about running when you don't feel like it and it really made me laugh and struck a chord. Most importantly though, I realised that people don't get stuff done through motivation, they get stuff done by being disciplined. Motivation is fleeting. We all want to be better, fitter, healthier - but to get there you have to do it whether you're motivated or not. 

I Googled 'how to be disciplined' or something like that and I read that most of the people who have good discipline are less emotional about decision making and just do things without thinking too much about it. Well, that was the total opposite of me at that point because I talked myself out of everything. I was sabotaging myself and I didn't know why, and I would tie myself up in knots about not being able to work out why - all the while not doing anything. 

I think this happens to me for lots of reasons that would take me forever to write about and would be pretty boring - nobody wants to wade through my quite in-extraordinary life story - but I asked my counsellor what she thought. 

She said some people are 'psychologically minded' and some are not. She said as a counsellor one of her jobs is get people to think more about things, to spend time on what they're thinking and feeling maybe analyse it a bit. But she said I am very psychologically minded and seem to analyse everything to the point where she sometimes feels like telling me to stop and just do stuff. When she said this stuff, I felt tears well up and a strange sense of relief. I can't really explain it but it was as if by pointing out the bleeding obvious I was somehow released of it. 

I decided then to just stop it. I decided to do what she told me and 'dare to succeed'.

The next day, I ran on my treadmill for 30 mins and on Saturday Nick, Archie and I took part in another parkrun. I came 67th of 68 runners (only the steward who 'brings up the rear' was after me!) and I completed it in 42:58. Yesterday I cycled to my local running club meet and joined them. I ran 5k with them, cycled home and I'm definitely going back next week - no questions asked.

I guess I am writing all this because it feels like a turning point for me. Allowing myself to do things because I said so, not because I deserve it or should or even want to. I'm doing it because I said I would, and there is no reason why I can't be as disciplined about it as the next person.

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."
- Aristotle

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