Hurdles we invent for ourselves


My locker key at the gym. Not so very exciting. But the key represents the fact that I have a) got to the gym and b) have got changed and have therefore c) fulfilled my aim to work out on that particular day. Which is a small triumph.It’s the same for running. I have great plans for the week. Plans are easy to make. Charts are easy to draw up. They are a lot harder to achieve. It is so easy to collapse all the plans, to talk yourself out of running or swimming or going to the gym. Actually it’s fascinating to actually experience my brain telling myself that really it is too hot/too cold/too snowy – ANYTHING to stop me actually going running. Procrastination is a very strong force.

This is why the hardest thing about running is putting your shoes on.

Perhaps this is why (I think) the whole running thing has taken off. People like inventing hurdles for themselves. 5K parkruns. 10K races.  Half marathons, Marathons, impossible races which must be trained properly for otherwise they cannot be completed.

This is why last night I went online and entered the Finchley20, a gruelling (in my book)  experience around the suburban streets of Hillingdon which is done by about 200 people in singlets. Do I want to do the Finchley20. No way! I’m terrified of the Finchley20. But if I do it, (and complete it), I will be so delighted with myself, because it will represent a challenge which I have found daunting, and have overcome.  It’s not the Iron Man or the Marathon des Sables or swimming the Channel, but to me it is tough, and therefore significant.


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