In a community as supportive and encouraging as the one runners and cyclists and general fitties have built, it’s hard not to get swept up in what others are doing. We all love to push ourselves, to see what we're capable of, a challenge. So when someone suggests you join them in something like a month-a-thon, it’s hard to say no. It’s especially hard when it seems everyone you know has started the latest run-everyday, press-ups-a-plenty, early-morning-swim, forget-about-rest-days challenge. You want to see if you can do it, too. And because all your friends are doing it, you know it will be fun. You might be tired and your body may be broken but saying no equals missing out.
I’m pretty sure my injured achilles is built on never saying no.
This year I’ve run the furthest, the longest, the hilliest and more often than I ever have before. I’ve taken part in 26 races, some of them back-to-back. My flying trapeze skills have massively improved, along with it, my strength. I'm pretty proud of all I've achieved. Over the past twelve months, my body has been flung into the air, dunked in water, whizzed around a velodrome, forced up and down hills, balanced on scaffolding…and now it’s screaming for me to rest. Finally, I think it’s earned it.
I certainly need the rest. I'm tired, really tired. Sometimes I don't recognise myself in the mirror because I look so haggard. I've become used to running with discomfort and have started to forget why I even started doing trapeze classes! It's time to sit back, look at all the things I've achieved but, most importantly, look forward to my goals for next year. Entering my first ultra has made me more aware of how I'm treating my body. I need it to last for 35-miles of running in one go...I need it to survive the training!
So from now on, I will be more sparing with my "yes"s and I definitely won't be taking part in challenges just because I feel left out. All my runs, every swim, each conditioning session will be judged on how I feel, not what other people are doing.
This month? I think I might just put my feet up!