WELL! I am so honoured and excited that one of my favourite bloggers said yes to guest blog for me. So excited! She has started a new challenge within herself and I have been following and clapping along.
So, introducing the FABULOUS Cath Jenkin:
Every Metre is a Victory Lap
I’ll never win a race, or carry home a medal. I’m far more likely to get some kind of Noddy Badge for being the fastest typist on the planet than I am to get for exerting myself physically.
When my brother took up running, I’d joke with him. I’d ask him if lions chased him and laughingly tell him that I’d sooner be caught in a decoupage class than I would pounding the pavement without some sort of wild animal in hot pursuit after me.
But, something changed – a big thing. As a working mom who spends a large part of her time trying to keep a firm grip on deadlines, my overflowing inbox and a seemingly infinite stream of school notices, I lost the ability to have “me time”. The more this carried on, the unhappier I felt. One day, whilst I was out doing the groceries (which I loathe…and I was only in a mall because I’d forgotten to do the groceries online in time!), I realised that the only “me time” I had left in my life was pushing a trolley through the apparent zombies in the vegetable aisle. Coupled with the fact that my work as a writer means I have to sit on my butt and write most of the time, my expanding buttocks were not pleasing me.
I’m not prone to getting off the couch either, when we do have downtime as a family. And, worse still, I was never known for being particularly athletic at all in school. Physical exercise seemed to me like something I’d laugh about, or be laughed at for trying (that actually happened to me in high school. It put me off ever trying). In fact, if I’m really blunt, I could not run up the stairs of our house without needing a little rest afterwards.
I set myself a little challenge one morning. Instead of starting my day far too early with coffee and my inbox, I elected to take ten minutes to myself and get some fresh air. This meant actually putting shoes on, and running to the shop that’s probably about 500 metres away (round trip) from my house. I did it. And hated it. So much so, that I had shin splints for a week afterwards, couldn’t breathe when I got home and that just seemed to reiterate to me that I was never, ever built for moving any other part of my body with any sort of speed, other than my fingers across my keyboard.
But, something in the idea of challenging myself clicked in my head. So I challenged myself to take a walk around the block, throwing in as much running as I could. After the first week, I could run about 100 metres without wanting to explode, and then walk a bit, and then do it again. To me, this was like discovering fire. Best of all, I started liking it.
Which was the exact moment I agreed with my brother that I probably needed a good set of running shoes. And, bless his supportive, wonderful heart, he took me along to the shoe store and got me fitted. Look, let’s be honest, when you tell a girl you’re taking her to show her the very best shoes, she’s going to get keen. Haha!
That was in March. It’s now almost May. I have no desire to run a marathon, and I am content that I’ll probably never outrun a lion but I do know that I’m fitter than I was 3 months ago. Even more importantly, I’m loving this little time to myself every morning.
Nowadays, you’ll find me pounding the pavement for 3 kilometres every morning. No serious athlete would even consider this a feat. But, to me, the girl who could not run up the stairs, it’s victory.
I don’t mind if I’m tired and want to walk most of it. I don’t hate myself if I feel like, some days I just can’t run the flat stretches I want to. What I do know, now, is that every time I put on my cute shoes, plug my earphones into my ears and start walking, and then running, every single day…I’m doing it for me.
I’m doing it for me who was ridiculed by a PE teacher for “running funny” in high school. I’m doing it for me who used to think that running was some kind of absent-minded sport. I’m doing it for me who needed some quiet time each day to collect her thoughts. And I’m doing it for me who firmly believed she could not do it.
I’m doing it, because, finally, I know that every metre I run, walk or crawl is a victory lap.
– Cath Jenkin (www.cathjenkin.co.za)
You can stalk the lovely Cath Here