08 February. 2020 • Category: Running | Addiction | Mental Health | Recovery | Mindfulness | Anxiety | Authenticity | Sobriety
Start line selfie with Katie and Stanley this morning.
It’s been a busy few days. My husband has been working like crazy again, I’m not complaining, but he’s tired and it’s hard not to be able to do anything to help him. Our littlest has had a nasty cold and that means he has been up a lot in the nights, and this morning our running son had to go to Bournemouth for a race as he is representing Cornwall Schools. Since we’re in Cornwall and he was going on the coach he had to be up and out early, in time to meet his team just after 6am. So that was another early start, but as he is lovely, my husband took him down and then popped into work for a few hours. Our eldest son always has plans so leaving him to it, me and my daughter Katie decided to take our youngest out to parkrun.
I’ve now run 42 parkruns, and I run with Stanley in the buggy a lot, but I haven’t ever parkrun with him. I think it’s just another thing where I’m afraid of being not good enough, maybe other people are faster, or have a better running buggy, etc, etc. Anyway, what I mean is that I do tend to put things off, especially if I feel I won’t be that good. Today we just made up our minds and went for it, and you know what? It was great. Well it was once I managed to get Katie out of the door. She is easily distracted and by the time we were on our way, I wondered if parkrun might have been and gone by the time we got there. It was okay though, it was easy to park and we got there with four or five minutes to spare.
We started near the back as I didn’t want to get in anyone’s way with the buggy and clog up the pack. It took almost a minute to get through the crowd to the start line at the beginning so my PB went out the window, but it was one of the nicest parkruns I have done in ages. We just ran and chatted, and resorted to walking on some of the hills because my two and a half year old is heavy! I should probably have checked my tyres before I went because my front one was quite low, so of course, I’m going to blame any perceived slowness on that, rather than on me and Katie. But like I said, it was lovely.
We stopped afterwards at the cafe and warmed up with some hot drinks before going to play in the park on the way out. It was a beautiful day and really felt like spring was coming as we saw so many beautiful flowers coming out.
We arrived home to find my husband was already back from work. I was thinking that other than having to go and meet Barn from his coach later in the evening we had nothing else on for the evening. Instead, I was told we’ve been invited out. It’s so nice, and yet it’s made me panic a bit. I don’t cope that well with change. It makes me a little nervous, and it’s worse because I don’t know what to expect. It’s one thing going out just with Lee, as I know he has no expectations of me, but going out with others in a group makes me a little nervous as I haven’t done it much recently. I’m not sure of the venue, of what drinks they’ll offer and what conversation will be expected of me. Those points alone are many of the reasons I used to have a drink, to stop myself feeling nervous in situations like these. Clearly I won’t be doing that tonight. I’ll be working my way through it as best as I can, and I am sure I will have a lovely time. I just wish I didn’t feel so nervous about it.
It’s annoying that things I want to do still make me nervous after all this time. It would be easier to stay at home, but then when I stopped drinking I didn’t mean that I would stop living, so I’m going to go out, and hopefully I’m going to have a good time. Fingers crossed!
Thanks for reading!
04 February. 2020 • Category: Running | Addiction | Mental Health | Recovery | Mindfulness | Anxiety | Authenticity | Sobriety
Racing with my daughter.
I’ve always been a bit suspicious of situations, people, you name it, I overthink it.
I don’t mean be the way I am necessarily, but I do have a habit of jumping to the worst conclusion at times. I even know that a lot of the time I’m wrong, but the problem is, sometimes I am right, and that reinforces my thinking. I think for me that one of the benefits of no longer drinking is that I see things more clearly now, but also with that tinge of suspicion. I’m never quite sure how to take people.
You’ll know if you’ve read my other posts, that I count myself lucky to have my family around me, and also that I isolated myself a lot from my friends during my recovery. It seemed the safest option for me, rightly or wrongly, I couldn’t focus on lots of other people back then, I just had to think about myself and my family or I wouldn’t have got through it. Most people understood, and if they didn’t to be honest, there isn’t a lot I could do about it, but some people, just a select few, that I had counted as friends didn’t act like friends, instead they were selfish and used my vulnerability at that time to their advantage. Those are not the sort of people I want in my life, and I’m glad they are gone.
The problem is, removing negative people, deleting or blocking friends from your list, etc, only removes those people from your life. There are always other people out there in the wings waiting, and I find it tricky to judge their motives. I know logically that not everyone is out to get me, but I often wonder why someone would talk to me out of the blue and what they hope get out of it. I sound awfully cynical don’t I? But I second guess everything, from how someone looks at me, to how I talk to them and the impression I give them.
After parkrun recently I was deliberating over cake in the queue at the cafe when the man behind me spoke to me. We were just passing the time of day, talking about cake and I didn’t think anything of it until he asked if he could join me to drink his coffee. I was shocked, not that there is anything wrong with it. Parkrun promotes community and chatting after a run, so why shouldn’t someone want to sit with me, it just threw me as I wasn’t expecting it. I said that it was fine, and pointed him in the direction of the table where my son was sitting, and by the time I had got there they were both chatting. We talked about running and a few other things, but when I was asked questions, I found myself worrying about what he wanted to know, and why he wanted to know it. I told you I was suspicious! Many other people were sitting in groups also chatting over their drinks, and it was perfectly normal, I do think, at least in this instance it is my problem and not his, but it is annoying to feel on guard all the time.
After the man left I questioned whether the situation had been okay with my son. He gets how I worry, and is quite good at reassuring me, or telling me to stop being a fool depending on the situation. But despite his reassurances, I just wonder then if it’s because he is younger that he doesn’t realise how some adults can have ulterior motives.
It’s taken me a long time to start to trust people, and their motives and even those that know me will know I am not the most sociable person even now. It isn’t that I don’t want to be, I just worry. I am guarded, I know that, and I don’t let many people in, it takes time for me to let my walls down a little and make friends. I am getting better at it, though slowly. I’ve even been known to have coffee after parkrun with people I do know. It’s just when someone is forward, and it is unexpected, it throws me.
I would like to say though, despite my anxieties, I’d still like you to say hi if you see me out and about!
Thanks as ever for reading.
11 February. 2020 • Category: Running | Addiction | Mental Health | Recovery | Mindfulness | Anxiety | Authenticity | Sobriety
Me and my son running together.
When I was younger, I wasn’t that keen on exercise. Nothing quite fitted for me. Everything I tried I wasn’t good enough at, and I didn’t really have the inclination to try to get better at it. I didn’t have any sporty friends or role models either, so sport seemed like something that other people did. That isn’t an excuse, it’s just my perception. I hated sports at school. It seemed like the teachers had their favourites and if you weren’t one, and it was clear I wasn’t, then you might as well have not been there. Mind you I didn’t like school much either, so PE was just something at the bottom of my list there. If I had a chance I would use any excuse to get out of PE. I wasn’t really unfit or anything, I just didn’t appreciate the chance to be picked last or ridiculed in front of people I didn’t like. My teenage years were not the best of my life.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I was particularly unfit or anything. I was lucky in some ways, I had horses growing up, so was often out riding, but that was something I did on my own. The idea of organised sports was something very different and not the way I wanted to spend my time. I didn’t even think of having my horses as exercise to be honest, it was just something I did and I enjoyed it. But, when you think about all the effort that goes in, the cleaning, the riding, the lugging hay bales around, it is quite a physical hobby to have. I loved being in the outdoors, I loved the time and the peace, though I wouldn’t have been able to explain that then. Things change though and unfortunately, the last horse I had, a beautiful well-mannered mare got colic and passed away. I was terribly sad, and I couldn’t replace her. Maybe one day I will, but that was twenty years ago now.
I decided sport wasn’t really my thing. Everyone that did sport seemed skinny, or fitter than me. I didn’t know where to start. So I didn’t. I’m not one for competing with others, but I don’t like to be judged either and I often feel like I am. If I can avoid a situation where that might happen I will. Just going out of the house in leggings was enough to put me off.
So it’s a bit mad that I get up early now, in the dark to run on the weekends when I could have a lay in instead. Don’t get me wrong, there are days when I wish I could have a lay in, but the temptation of a Saturday morning parkrun, or the lure of a race are enough to get me out the door. Even when the weather is bad, and that is surprising. I even run in the evenings, in the dark and lately the icy cold weather when my son is at track practice. Now that must mean I am crazy, because there is a perfectly good cafe there which I could go and sit in to wait instead!
I love running now though, and I count myself lucky that I have finally found something I enjoy and that I am quite good at. By good, I don’t necessarily mean fast, there are plenty of people out there that are faster, but I mean, I can keep going. I couldn’t run for a minute when I started, no joke. Now I can happily pop out for a 10k (6.2 miles) without really thinking about it. I never thought I’d be able to say that. So while I’d like to be faster sometimes, I’m just happy to be able to get out and do it. It’s peaceful and you see places you wouldn’t otherwise see.
One day I saw a comment someone put on Facebook and it meant a lot. I often remind myself of it, and use it to encourage other people. It went something along the lines of, “You know when you are at a race, and everyone else looks like they know what they’re doing and you don’t? Well they are probably looking at you and thinking the exact same thing.” It instantly relaxes me and reminds me that you just don’t know what is going on in someone else’s head. They might just be trying to style it out and convincing you that they are confident when they aren’t.
So I guess really it’s about trying things and finding the one that works for you. I’m not great with team sports, or anything which involves loads of people, but put me in a race, with a herd of like minded people, and I’m fine. More than fine. I actually enjoy it.