The Great South Run was on Sunday and me and my sister ran it. We were horrendously badly prepared - both of us started this great plan with wonderful intentions and expected to be fully fit and merrily jogging round the route with ease and enthusiasm by the time race day arrived. Reality bites hey! We had both been on a few runs ( her a few more than me and a fair bit further than me ) but neither of us managed the regular commitment which builds fitness. But we ventured out into the beginnings of the approaching storm anyway. With a moto of slow and steady and a determination that we would not stop running (however slowly) we made it round 10 miles in 1hr47mins crossing the finishing line together. A pretty good time in my opinion. I have no idea how I made it through the last 2 miles. It's a beautiful course and the finish is along the seafront but on this particular day we had strong winds against us and we were both regretting our lack of training.
Finishing made me think though - so many times before and during that run I thought I wouldn't be able to do it. I don't think I have ever pushed my body so hard in my life and yet somehow I made it through. So often we put ourselves in boxes - pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones rarely and taking as tiny steps as possible. But actually our bodies and minds are stronger than we realize - my body and my mind went further than I ever thought they would - and that was without the preparation that would be recommended.
Now I'm aware that this is simply a 10 mile race and thousands of people do this and much more regularly - but for me it was a pretty big deal. Applying that confidence to other areas of my life could really be a good thing. When we are at school we are constantly encourage to try new things - a new class, a new sport, a new social group or a new school. As we grow up things change around us and we are constantly being pushed to experience as much as possible. Somehow as we get older this seems to reverse. We get a job and settle into it, life becomes a bit of a routine and we stop putting ourselves out there. We stop experimenting and enjoy the safety of the things we know. This can be a great place to be but for me I started to think that it was actually a bit of a lazy place to be.
So not only am I slightly inspired to continue running (at least in the summer anyway) it has also got me considering if there are other areas of my life where I need to push the boundaries - explore the un-explored and simply push the walls of my box out a little bit. After all it is in the new and sometimes challenging situations that we learn and grow the most!
I'll keep you posted - my next challenge is to successfully pull off a craft fair stall!