Life Design Attitude: Sometimes we just have to trust in our knickers and our toenails.
Since this whole running lark started I have become a much more accomplished Thoughtologist. This is like a Numerologist but instead of studying numbers, you study thoughts.
1. My initial thought study was around how thoughts can completely sabotage your jog/goals.
Example: I am running. I am fine. The body is fine. The legs are good. The feet are good. The toenails aren’t rubbing and nor are the knickers. All is lovely. But in my head, the thoughts are wriggling around like a batch of five year old children in a three day car journey who have consumed copious amounts of Red Bull/Mountain Dew mix.
“I’m tired! Are we there yet? I’m bored. Let’s go home. Its good at home. Why don’t you stop and walk for a bit? I’m tired. Come on, go back. Let’s stop.”
Initially, when I started running I would listen to the thoughts and do what they said. Now I ignore them and focus on my legs. My toenails. My knickers. All good? Yes? Then trust in these staples and keep running.
2. My next thought study was around how thoughts can completely save your jog/goals.
For example (today); I am running up a hill. It’s a long, sloping, evil, Chinese water torture sort of hill. I am not fine. My lungs hurt. My body is sizzling and the wind is cold on my face creating a nasty feverish feeling. My throat is dry and I am v conscious that it’s school run time and naughty N will drive past me at any moment, possibly run me over, possibly beep and give me a heart attack or possibly heckle me if I am running too slowly.
So, in my head I do the Thing. The Thing involves thinking about something interesting, distracting, if not downright juicimungous. Today on my hill run the thoughts manifested and began to cultivate TWO amazing new books; one a mixture between Carrie, Last of the Mohicans and Ugly Betty; the other a sister-book to Grow Your Own Gorgeousness.
3. Another recent thought study has been around the cheesy running metaphors that my brain insists on churning out about jogging and life.
I often am inspired during a run to write entire blog posts about my cheesy running/life metaphors, however most of the time I don’t remember them by the time I get home. Lucky sausages that you are. BUT today (you unlucky sausages) I DID remember. Whilst running up THAT hill, before the book ideas came, I thought this:
“When you are jogging up a hill and it looks insurmountable, focus on the ground beneath your feet. This way you can take one step at a time and the challenge ahead won’t overwhelm you. Exactly the same action can be applied to life. No goal is insurmountable as long as you know where you are heading and focus on one step at a time.”
See? Pure cheese.
4. My last thought study has been around intention.
This type of thought is interesting because it happens before you set out to accomplish something (jog, start a project, whatever). Your intention is like lining up a golf club to the ball – one slight shift in your angle will determine a hole in one or clonking some poor walker on the head and possibly killing them.
If you go running with the intention “I am going to run because I want to lose weight and I dislike my appearance, my flab, these horrible legs, thighs, wibbles etc” you are already onto a loser. Your energy will feel sloppy, slow, sluggish. It is negative and self loathing and your body will feel utterly demoralised. The chances are your run will be pretty short lived.
However. Start running with the intention of, “I am going to strengthen this beautiful body that I’ve been gifted with and let it live out its full potential and gorgeousness,” and you will run with passion, power and precision. You’ll come back wildly happy, full of spark and itching to go out again.
Initially you’ll also have the Kids On Red Bull chatter going on in your head for the first few weeks too – but just let yourself observe the backseat thoughts being idiots, ask your toenails and knickers how they feel and if they give you a nod, then just keep running.
(KEY POINT: Thoughts can sabotage, save, create, entertain and intend. They are powerful but ultimately YOU have power of them. Next time you are feeling demoralised or negative, ask yourself what you are thinking and instead of questioning the hill/situation in your life and consider backing out – question the thoughts that you are having about it instead.)