06 October 2019
12 October. 2019 • Category: Running | Yoga | Addiction | Mental Health | Mindfulness | Anxiety | Authenticity | Sobriety
I bought him his own mat, he still prefers to be on mine with me. Even if I end up squashing him!
I love yoga. I find it refreshing and invigorating. It puts me through my paces and leaves my body feeling strong and my mind feeling clear. It really compliments my running too.
I got out of the habit of going to classes about a year ago, it’s hard to find something that fits in which our schedules, so I can go but also have someone at home to look after the little one. Daytime classes just don’t work for this reason. I normally practice at home but recently happened to see a class advertised at a time I could make, and the bonus was, my daughter wanted to come too. She also really finds yoga beneficial, but doesn’t practice at home. It’s nice for us to have something to do together.
We’ve been going religiously each week, and despite a couple of changes in times, it’s been fine. Last week I had a message to say that the venue we had been using was no longer available. It seemed a terrible shame as the teacher is truly talented and we both really enjoy the classes. I was so pleased to hear not long after that she had found another place to use, until I found out it was in a pub.
Is the idea of yoga in a pub bizarre to everyone or is it just me? I just don’t think I would be comfortable enjoying my yoga practise in such a close vicinity to all that alcohol. Maybe it’s just my background, but being sober now, I don’t particularly want to spend my free time in a pub, especially for something like yoga. I know it doesn’t actually involve drinking, so maybe I’m being over-sensitive? But, for someone who was alcohol dependent the idea of yoga in a place surrounded by alcohol just doesn’t sit well with me.
Anyway, fingers crossed a new space turns up, two weeks without a class is a long time and I might have to find a new class! Until then it’s yoga at home for me, the problem is, that often involves having a two year old on my mat with me!
Thanks for reading everyone!
Fun in the water with the kids.
To the noisy lady at the swimming pool… I don’t want to hear all about how hard your life is, at top volume while you are changing your child. I’m sure it is challenging, but after the last few weeks I think I’ve heard every detail several times and I think perhaps you are either creating drama for attention, or actually just thrive off a hectic life. That’s fine, but can you keep it away from me? Or maybe try being just a little bit grateful for what you have?
I don’t need the drama to be honest. It’s taken me a long time to be as calm as I am, and it doesn’t take a lot sometimes to tip the balance. I distance myself from drama, whether it is on the TV or in person, I separate myself from people who drain me, it is enough sometimes to keep myself afloat, without propping up others too. Sometimes people and the noise they bring is all a bit overwhelming.
I think this must seem selfish to some, but actually it’s self preservation. Keeping myself in my little bubble helps. My circle is small, my husband, children, close family and work. I’ve read a lot about mental health over the years after struggling with my own. We, as humans are not meant to interact in the way that modern life dictates. We were designed to care about our small circle, our immediate family and our ‘village’. We don’t need to know the intricate details of the happenings all over the world, and yet today we are subjected to it all. We know everything, all the time. We are bombarded and it is too much for some of us to process. There is no reprieve and it is tiring. Our minds are on constant high alert for events which actually may not ever affect us, and that is on top of our daily lives.
Its children I feel for most. I’m glad I think, that I am not a teenager today. When I was young, if I had a falling out I left it at school. With my kids, they are always available. Friends and acquaintances can get to them at all times, and if they choose to put down their phones or leave a chat, then they are suddenly out of the loop. It’s sad, and frightening that a lot of their friendships are superficial. I’m not sure that I’d cope very well with that. To help, I limit my phone to one hour per day of social media, then it cuts off. That can be hard as I manage a page for work too, so it isn’t all personal, but once it’s gone I don’t check in anymore. It gives me a break and sometimes that break is all I need. Sometimes I wonder if life would be easier if I lived in a cabin on a mountain somewhere!
Anyway, thanks again for reading!
Have a great weekend everyone!
Enjoying a walk in the woods.
When I think of a stereotypical ‘addict’ I think people tend to think the worst. It is assumed they are often homeless, without a job, literally rock bottom. I’m pretty sure that isn’t the way I looked to the world.
When I walked into my first support group meeting I didn’t know what to expect or where I was going. My usual contact wasn’t there and I didn’t know the women running the group. They asked who I was looking for, clearly trying to protect the privacy of the group and when I said why I was there, they seemed surprised. There were only six of us, and I felt like all eyes were on me.
I could get by on a daily basis out in the world, I’d already proved that by denying I had a problem for so long. I dressed smartly, had a family, a job and a house, many of the group didn’t. It was a full time job to appear normal, and it was exhausting. We introduced ourselves, and it seemed to dawn on each of us that despite our outward differences we were very similar on the inside.
Today is World Mental Health Day and I suppose my point is that many people are struggling, whether it is an addiction, anxiety, depression or something else entirely. Many people, like I was, are very good at hiding it. So good in fact, that it becomes second nature. Just because it isn’t visible, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Be kind. It matters, even if it isn’t obvious.
Thanks for reading!
After run yoga!
It’s funny, recently I have really struggled to be motivated to run, even though I know how much I enjoy it once I am out. First I think the weather got hotter and that made it harder. Then we were on holiday, and that was an excuse (I did run 2 miles while we were away but it was ridiculously hot!) Then I just found other reasons to make it hard work and less fun. It became a chore to go out, something I had to do, and I almost ruined it for myself.
When I first started running I noticed improvements straight away, I could run further, faster, I toned up, even if the scales didn’t change. After a while it was less noticeable and that made it harder to get the same buzz from it. When I get out of the habit of doing something I find it really difficult to motivate myself to get going again. Those little doubts starting to creep in again, making me think I couldn’t do it and that I was silly for even thinking I could.
Next Sunday I am running a half marathon, so between doubts I have been trying to train for it. In preparation, I signed up for Plymouth 10k as I enjoyed last years event and ended up booking the 5k just after as support for my daughter. Right up until the moment before I was full of doubt, luckily I ended up chatting to another Lonely Goat from my running club on the start line, which helped keep me calm. Once the starting gun went off I just started running and before I knew it I was on my way.
When I finished I was so happy with myself, the year before I had run/walked the 5k in the same place. This year I ran every step of the 10k and that was a massive improvement for me. It really reinforced that I actually could do it, no matter what my mind told me.
Ten minutes later we went off on the 5k. I ran with my daughter, totally at her pace, and it was so much fun! We chatted all the way round. I knew what to expect so could forewarn her of hills and encourage her. It was brilliant. Especially when another runner ran into the bus lane (closed roads) and shouted very loudly, “I’m a bus!”
The thing is, it inspired me again. It showed me what I can do when I stop worrying, or overthinking. I actually feel excited to go out and run again! It gave me back that running bug, although I am sure when it is time for me to go out later, that little nagging doubt will also crawl back in. Hopefully I’ll be able to quieten it down this time!
As always, thanks for reading. It means a lot to me!
Me and Katie half way through her first road race.
Like many others when I first started running I thought getting to 5k would be a huge achievement and it was. Like many people, I thought it would be enough to go from a non-runner to one that could do 5k without walking. It was for a time, and then I decided to tackle a 10k. Then a half. I never wanted to run a half marathon, or so I thought. They were for serious runners, but the idea took hold and I just wanted to see if I could. It gave me something to focus my training on, an end goal to work towards. Once I’d done it I was amazed that I could do something like that. Me, a runner for only a year could run 13.1 miles. That was pretty cool and it was enough. But then a few weeks later I watched the London Marathon on TV. It was inspiring, the runners at the front moving like machines, covering double the distance in less time than I had run my half. I was watching as Hayley Carruthers fell at the end, and willed her to make it over the line. A professional runner, but one who still worked and had a life outside of training, she made me wonder if I could do it.
That feeling didn’t go away and as soon as it opened I entered the ballot. I didn’t even wait to get home, I was out in a carpark waiting to pick my son up from the end of a Duke of Edinburgh expedition on a cold and rainy Sunday afternoon. I just knew I had to get my name down. I didn’t realise I’d have to wait over five months to know if I was successful.
I’ve been waiting patiently to find out the ballot results as I know so many other people have, but it has made me question why exactly the ballot is done in this way. I know it is a successful event and so many people want to run it, but why not make it a little more available to the average runners out there too? If I don’t get a place, I can run for a charity, but because they have to pay so much for their places they want thousands of pounds raised in return. I understand that they need to maximise their return, but when these charities are chosen from a list and not one close to my heart, it doesn’t seem genuine, it seems like a means to an end. Putting so much effort into fundraising would take time too, and like many, I find it hard to fit training around life, work and family, so to put more demands on my time would be difficult, as would the stress of having to reach a target or lose my place. I don’t think that would help my anxiety at all.
It seems that a fairer option would be to have so many places open on a first come first served basis, and after that maybe open the ballot? At least then the early birds would get a chance. Even if the tickets cost more, I’ve heard of other marathons that actually give people a place when they have been unsuccessful on so many previous occasions. This seems like a fairer option. I know many people would like to run on several occasions, but for many, once would be enough.
So it brings me to the question, do I actually want to support this ballot, which I think is actually quite unfair, or do I want to find a marathon that I can just buy a place for and run, and enjoy the experience. What do you think?
Today the results begin to go out. Some already know if they are in or not. I don’t. As soon as I find out, I’ll let you know. Happy running!
Thanks for reading! Xxx
Finish photo with my two runners.
Today is the first anniversary of my first ever race - the Plymouth 5k. It was the first official run I had done, and I was nervous! I wasn’t sure how well I’d do, having only ever done parkruns. I wasn’t sure how it would be running on a road in a race as I hadn’t done anything like it before. I worried I would be last. I worried that people would laugh at me. I was mainly afraid I’d embarrass myself. I ran with my son, Barn. He was 13 then and had also just started running. We ran together, slowing down at the hills and walking where we needed to. Towards the end I encouraged him to go off, and eventually he did, after a lot of persuasion and sprinted off towards the end. It was the first time we had a glimpse of how fast he might be. Running down the last straight to the finish people called my name, it was an amazing feeling. And I didn’t come last!
This year I decided to run the same race again, but as I’ve upped my distance over the last year, I signed up for the 10k instead of the 5k. I am not the fastest, but I am a lot faster than I was (at times), so I was looking forward to it. My lovely daughter Katie has started running this year and is getting much more confident, but is not keen on running further than 4 miles, so the 10k was out of the question for her, despite me trying to convince her. Knowing how much I’d enjoyed it last year I signed them both up for the 5k. Barn knew what to expect and was just planning on smashing his time from last year, while Katie was more nervous, as like me, she didn’t know what to expect from the event and wondered whether it would be overwhelming. So, in the spirit of encouragement, I signed up for the 5k too.
In my head I thought it would be a good plan. I’ve got a half marathon coming up, so I thought I’d use these two races as training, but in practice it made me more than a little nervous. Until now, I hadn’t run the same race twice and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to do both, when really I should be more confident. I have run further before. It’s just nerve wracking running on closed streets when people are watching!
Well, to cut the story short, I am super proud of all of us. I was really happy with my 10k time and once finished I had enough time to change my race number over before going out again on the 5k. Katie and I ran together the whole way. It was lovely. She slowed down a couple of times, but considering she has a stinking cold, I am not surprised! I would have done the same! Barn started with us but that was the last time we saw him, until the lead car passed us with the front runners coming back the other way, giving us an opportunity for a quick high five and a few words of encouragement.
A lot of people can do more, but for someone who didn’t think they could run 5k not so long ago, running two races in one day is a great feeling! I’m looking forward to next year!
What races have you all done this weekend?
Thanks for reading!