I am taking part in a Wolf Run in two days. I am woefully unprepared and undertrained. But it’s gonna be ok. Here’s why…
Here are the links to the previous diaries –
And here’s the last instalment of my training diaries…
31st October 2015. I look like I’ve got into confused Halloween character a bit early in the day; my face is an unflattering shade of devil red and I’m walking with a kind of hunch-back zombie shuffle after today’s run in the woods with my Wolf Run team mate. One week to go. I wobble uncertainly between excitement and fear like a beginner tightrope walker. There’s going to be a number of challenges that I’ve never had to face. A lake swim. Mud pits. Monkey bars. A full 10k cross country on my own two feet /arse/hands and knees. Climbing stuff. Dodging stuff. Crawling under and over stuff. I’m going to have to break through, vault over and swim away from my comfort zones and wave them goodbye.
3rd November 2015.
Today was a Good Run. Ran a mile through heavy clay mud and rain, breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth. Did some stretches. Ran back, still concentrating on the breathing. I focus on Now. Not thinking about work. Not thinking about how far I need to run. Not thinking about the Wolf Run itself. Breathe. Imagine my feet light and bouncy. Feel the centre of my chest stay high and leading me forward. Breathe.
5th November 2015. Had planned a last run but seem to have run out of hours in the day, what with bonfire night tonight! So I take Ella-the-dog for a walk in the rain and ponder stuff. It occurs to me that I have spent most of my life trying to make things safe and cosy. Physically and emotionally I have been fearful of any small discomfort. Cold/heat/dirt/drama/socialising/high heels/strangers/smells/looking stupid/certain food combinations/dance music/the sound and feel of knives on plates/embarrassing myself unintentionally/getting hungry/falling over/not getting enough sleep/Being judged/getting out of breath? I worry about these all the time. Urgh!
And so my comfort zones have remained small. When I was young, and riddled with irrational fears and hallucinations, my father taught me a neat trick. To mentally create a circle around myself which nothing scary could cross. I used this a lot with some success until one day in my early twenties when I suffered a panic attack and drew my circle too small. I was stuck, helplessly huddled in a tiny space for nearly two hours with cramp setting in as I tried to keep my limbs from leaving the safety of my tiny circle. Luckily a flatmate arrived home and freed me. I have not consciously created a safety circle since then.
And yet I think I have created a life for myself rather like this circle. Don’t get me wrong, it’s lovely inside, with cushions, milky coffee, a pile of books and a gorgeous family to cuddle. But a beautiful padded cell is not a healthy place to live. The past eighteen months or so have allowed me to at least push the boundaries of my circle outwards. And I think the past couple of months of training have taught me that maybe I don’t need that circle any more. What do I need to be protected from? That circle is now superfluous. It’s time to dissolve it, rub it out, knock it down. I am going to make an idiot of myself on Saturday. A cold, muddy, wet, wheezing, aching idiot of myself. But I’m ready for it. And I think this will be how I destroy my circle.
*title is quoted from Maya Angelou