Sunday, 12 June 2011

Run run run!

In my more slobbish days, I would sometimes wonder if there was a runner in me desperate to get out.  In some dark and angry moments I could see the appeal of that repetitive pounding of the pavements as a way of relieving stress. 

But I was a smoker and allergic to exercise.   The thought of getting out there and getting all sweaty did not appeal.  Just the thought had me reaching for another cigarette.  Then the world went mad and overnight smoking became socially unacceptable and keeping fit was in.  The world and his wife, his sister and his great-aunt donned lycra and took to the streets, jogging themselves into a life of dodgy knees and, by the look of some of them, an early heart attack. 

After a (very) brief foray into pink and black lycra in my early twenties, my thirties found that little smidge of rebel in me absolutely point-blank refusing to join the masses.  Growing old disgracefully was my new black.  Crash diets, coffee, cigarettes, and a little weed now and again, were the temples at which I worshipped. 

Then I got cancer. 

If that doesn’t make you sit up and re-evaluate your life, nothing will.

So gradually I started considering what I ate, what I was smoking and what I was doing to my body in general.  And I do mean consider.  I did start to change my diet but it took another 7 years before I finally gave up smoking (just over a year ago).  Then late last year, much to my surprise, and to the astonishment of my friends, I bought a pair of running shoes.  They sat in the cupboard for months, but it was a start.  Then I downloaded the NHS Couch to 5K podcast that promised....well, it promised to get you from Couch to 5K in 9 weeks.  That sat on my PC for another few months. 

Never let it be said I am impulsive. 

Then 4 weeks ago, out of the blue, I was impulsive.  Uploaded the podcast to my phone, stuck the earphones in and took myself out for the first training session in the programme.  Have you ever tried running for 60 seconds when you‘ve never run for anything before!?  I thought I was going to keel over there and then. 

But I felt a determination that, just for once in my life...I. Would. Do. This.

And that determination continues.  I’m now up to running for five minutes at a time and, over the 30 minute programme, I am running for longer than I am walking.  And during the first five-minute run last Friday, I found myself grinning and enjoying myself.

Now THAT is scary!

Friday, 10 June 2011

Not sure about the therapy....

...but yesterday, for no reason I could fathom, I sank into a pit so dark and deep it scared the living daylights out of me. 

Depression is a serious illness and not one to be taken lightly, but I do think "depression" is an over-used term and it gets used far too often to describe people who are, perhaps, going through a prolonged period of being a little down in the dumps and don't have the wherewithal to pull themselves out of it.  That happens to us all now and again.  I don't have depression, but yesterday I was in a place where I could see a glimpse of it and I don't want to go back there.

Today is much brighter!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Who needs a therapist?

Not me.  I can do a pretty good job of analysing stuff all by myself.

I just wish I could stop it.

I put myself through more angst and soul-searching than I'm sure must be good for a person.  And where does it get me?  Nowhere.  The best advice is to accept that what is is, and stop fretting about it.  I'm just no good at taking my own advice.

Friday, 15 April 2011


Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Why is this bothering me?

One of the guys here at work got married at the weekend.  None of us were formally invited: they are both in their 60s, it was a small, quiet celebration with their close friends.  Except one of my colleagues was invited, the one who is also my next-door neighbour.  And, apparently, the ex.  With his new girlfriend.

I'm good with that, they were friends, and neither do I have a problem that he has moved on and has a new woman in his life.  Good for him.

What's bothering me is that my neighbour simply cannot keep his mouth shut and my ex is probably now gleefully aware that I, having been the instigator of the break-up, am still single and he isn't, and b) have bought a house and am spending a lot of time there.  It's no big secret, I am very happily single and the break-up was never about anyone else.  Ditto the house, no big secret.

So why is it annoying me that the ex now knows all this?

Actually, you know what?  I think it's annoying me more that it's annoying me.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Step up, step up

Once again I am called on to step up to the mark.  To be the strong one.  To hold it all together.

For more years than I care to remember I've had to be the strong one, the one that coped and, right now, I would give anything to have someone say "It's OK, I've got your back on this one, I'll deal with it".

But that ain't going to happen.  So big girls knickers are on and here we go again.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Oh hell.....

....I forgot to mention the two other significant things that happened last year.

I quit smoking.  Oh yeah!  I thought this was going to be a tough thing to do, I wasn't mentally ready and I sure as hell wasn't physically ready.  Yet one day last June, after 30 years of smoking, I decided "enough".  And apart from one very minor blip two weeks in, I have not looked back.  Yes I put on weight, but I've almost shifted it all.  Yes I still have moments when I really need a cigarette, and I suspect that feeling will never go away, but one cry of "I need a cigarette!" and my friends all pile in and tell me "No you don't!".  It feels great to have finally go of that mental crutch.

And I grew up.  OK, let's rephrase that.  I didn't actually grow up, that would just be a little bit too scary to contemplate, but I did do something very grown up.  I bought a house. My own four walls.  It's tiny, it needs a little bit of work, but it's mine.  It's somewhere I can escape to and be at peace.  It's home.  And I love it.