It’s dawned on me that my last 12 months of running was mainly to run away from my problems and help me focus on what I thought was important so I didn’t have to confront what was really important.
Running will always be in my life now but since my problems found a way to confront themselves, I’ve felt less pressure on myself to get it right and concentrated more on running to run.
Because I’m quickly learning what is right for me is not always right for everyone else.
I’ve taken a bit of step away from social media since hurting myself in the Durham Coast Half. I’m still on there more than most by all accounts, but it’s starting to dawn on me that I haven’t got a great deal to say and maybe the things I have got worth saying should be saved for those that really want to hear me. Those that really care. Because it’s starting to dawn on me that by “finding myself” on social media the last year or so, made me lose myself to those that really cared. Shut myself down from people who already loved me and from the possibility of new friendships.
It made me very lonely.
Because with any fight, with any loss of control in life, there is always someone being hurt. Always someone being forgotten about. Always someone you need to say sorry to. Because when you lose the person you are, its very easy to use the goodness in people around you.
I’ve spent the last few months being absolutely terrified of how in love I am with my husband. Ridiculous right?
Depression or no depression, we’ve had and have a great deal to work through. They say what doesn’t kill you,makes you stronger and we’ve both had times when we’ve genuinely thought it might get to the former in terms of our marriage. Since deciding to work through our problems we have definitely opened ourselves up to finding out about ourselves in order to support each other. I researched depression, I researched happy marriages and I researched my own behaviours and how I could look to be a better wife. I was prepared.
What I wasn’t prepared for was the hatred I would have for myself on the days when the light left his eyes and the frustration of not just being unable to support him but the heartbreak that he didn’t want me to.
We’ve had days in the last few weeks when he genuinely would have been happy for me to walk away. Days when he lost the fight. Days when the problems of the last few months…or even years… got too much for him to cope with and by being in the room, the only thing I seemed to do, was make that worse.
This last 12 months or so has seen me go from caring about nobody but myself, to realising that the grass really isn’t greener on the other side. And to get back to the green grass means running-metaphorically and literally -into the issues that made me take up running in the first place. And with that brought the realisation that I’d been using my selfish to blame anyone but myself for what was going on around me. I ran to make myself angry at everyone and everything. And then the situation made me run to face my fears. Losing myself became less important and losing those around me became more of a possibility. My friends. My family. My Husband.
And suddenly when the choice was taken away and losing them wasn’t up to me, I realised that I was pretty happy with the grass that I was already on.
There’s a lot of talk on running groups about non supportive partners and families. When it comes to all aspects of my life, particularly running, that couldn’t be further from the truth. My family all boast about my running (particularly physio mum who might have told someone I completed a marathon in 2hours35). I get good luck messages off all my friends and family before runs, they comment on all social media posts from training to events and they not just listen but ask questions about every run I do because they know how much it means to me. And they stick around. Even though I ask precisely 0 questions about them.
And do I ever think to let them know how grateful I am? Do I heck.
And what about Mr Husband? Is he as supportive as everyone else in my life?
Mr Husband is in a league of his own.
Him (and little step-son) have been at every finish line. Recorded every finish time. Played chauffeur to every run. Googled the best running diets. Taken sacrifices on meals out and treating himself so that Mrs Wife can buy yet another pair of running shoes that are identical but cleaner than the ones bought just weeks ago.
He makes me protein bars, mixes my protein shakes and listens about every training session.
And even when my ankle is twice the size of the other one, he gently suggested that maybe I shouldn’t train but listened and supported when I saw Mr PT anyway.
I never stopped training. Even when life fell apart around me I stuck to my running and Mr PT. And even though life was falling apart as we knew it, Mr Husband not only supported me through each run, but let me blog about our troubles for all to see.
And just like the sprained ankle that made me want to train more. Suddenly when something is taken away from you without your permission- like my marriage- that was the time I realised I wanted it most.
And just like my training, I realised that all good things come with hard work and some serious commitment. Every goal requires you to look at all aspects. Because you would think I would have learnt by now that there’s not much point in achievements if you have no one to share them with. And whats the point in focus, hard work and determination if you’re taking everyone down around you in the process. If friends and loved ones or even strangers virtual and real are offering support but your focus on making yourself feel better simply tears them down then is that really a goal worth achieving?
I’ve total warrior coming up next week and completed my first proper trail half marathon last week and suddenly the focus for Keilder full marathon is real. I don’t just need to put in hard work and training to make these events count, I need to support those supporting me. It’s not about wanting praise and encouragement but about giving praise and encouragement back.
This week someone told me that we often hear the phrase “treat those like you want to be treat” but actually isn’t it more important to “treat those like they want to be treat” ?
So to those around me who have supported, trusted and been there for me…maybe it’s my turn to give back. Even if giving back is just accepting that all good runners much take a fall sometimes and learn how to get back up and carry on.
This week Mr Husband put on his trainers and ran with me. He didn’t run far and he’s not sure he’ll keep running but he tried.
Total Warrior is just 2 weeks away after struggling but finishing my trail half last week, I’m under no illusion how tough it is going to be. The training has been done. Mr PT has put in his hours and supplied workouts when hes been unable to train me to make sure I have the tools to be ready. And physically I need to put back what he’s given me and show all supporting me that I have worked hard for this. But what I wasn’t expecting when this journey began was the training received by Mr Husband.
It’s not jus about climbing ropes, running hills and lifting weights. The strength comes from within. The strength comes from others. Comes from recognising where you went so terribly wrong and figuring out how to try and put it just a little bit right.
So I continue to move forward. Who knows where it’ll take me?
I’m 98% certain there will be blood, sweat and tears.
I’m 99% certain there’ll be plenty of unexpected obstacles in the process.
But I’m 100% sure that I’ll do all it takes to learn my lessons. To stop worrying about the possibility of me falling and instead start to get rid of the barriers I place around to prevent others from falling in the first place.
So this is my sorry. To those around me that have been there and supported me in any way in the past. To those I forgot to thank for the support and took for granted.
Can I promise I won’t do it again? Probably not.
Can I promise to work harder that I ever have before to try? Absolutely.