This afternoon I was making a cup of tea for me and my parents. My mum was playing with our son and our daughter was settling in her cot. My dad and I had the following conversation:
Dad: Which exercise are you doing today?
Me: I think I need to run because if you guys are here I can get out in the daylight.
Dad: Ok. Go on then.
Me: Yeah, maybe. I’ll just make the tea.
Dad: No. I will make that. Go and run.
Dad: Stop thinking about it, get into your kit and go. Now. Go on.
Stop thinking about it. Stop thinking about it. Yes. I do think about it a lot. I think that I’ve missed my chance now. I think I’ve started going backwards because I was doing really well but then the weather turned and then my app cut out and now I only run once a week and I’m losing stamina. I think about excuses I can make.
I went upstairs and thought about how I couldn’t find my hair band that I always run with so my earphones were bound to fall out. I thought about which top to wear – which motivational slogan would help me run faster. I thought about how muddy my trainers were and how I needed the toilet and how I’d just eaten a big lunch and how this was probably the worst time to run. I thought about how our toddler was overtired and our baby hadn’t quite settled yet so it wasn’t a great time to disappear for half an hour.
Funny – I’ve been told by several sources over the years how my generation over-thinks things. Maybe we do. I thought about that too.
Then I listened to my dad’s advice and I just stopped thinking. I stopped thinking about why I couldn’t run 5k today and instead of thinking, I just ran. And everytime I thought about stopping and quitting and not running 5k I did the same thing: I stopped thinking and just carried on.
And then, for the first time since I started running 3 months ago, I ran 5k. And I completed it in under 30 minutes.
I would have cried with happiness and pride and the feeling of sheer awesomeness. But by the time I’d run 5k I didn’t have any energy left to cry, so I just smiled instead.