How do you perceive physical activity?

As i write this, I’m literally days away, 2, in fact, from my first marathon – I’m not telling you that so you can send messages of congratulations – I’m telling you that to show you that the way we view physical activity is most definately about perspective.

This is a little about my running story, hope I don’t bore you, but really the morale of the story is about perspective and mindset.

5 years ago , actually, even 12 months ago, I’d say the thought of running marathon could have made me physically sick, or at least twitch a little! Of course, I wasn’t sick, but I viewed it as torturous!  It was SO far out of reach, not to mention, my comfort zone.

Since then, I’ve slowly increased my running, and along the way just decided I needed to do one marathon in my life.  That was pretty much all – I made a conscious decision, rallied my beautiful girlfriends to be support crew, booked flights, accommodation and registered for the event.  To be honest, I’m still feel amazed at what the body is capable of when we set our minds to it!

I’m not implying everyone needs to do a marathon or similar, for you, it might just be starting to committing to using the stairs every time there is an option, instead of the lift!

Today, I’m, yes, a little anxious but strangely excited – excited for lots of reasons.  Here are some random thoughts for race week and a few things I’ve noted and learnt in the last 6 or 8 months:

I’d be a liar, liar pants on fire if I said it’s all been super easy! Did I want to get out of bed and run every time the alarm went off? No! But I did (except for maybe a few times, when I couldn’t logistically sort my children to be safely looked after!)

Training for a marathon is a rollercoaster of emotions – on the days I didn’t run, especially if a few in a row, I’d start to talk myself out of it! Questioning my decision and perspective! In comparison, after I’d run,, I knew I could do it!

A runner I know was telling me how he cried at end of one of his marathons!  At the time, I felt sorry for him and was thinking, he’s soft, who’d do that?!?!? I so get it now, after all the training and commitment, the support (and well meaning questioning) from loved ones, the ups and downs, I might just get a bit terry too!

I’m going to be towards the end of the finishers, and that’s cool, but I absolutely cannot wait to know I am capable of a marathon! I feel like, my view of the world will change even more – I’ll let you know!

My marathon perspective took on a whole new level of meaning when I also decided that the Jake Garrett Foundation would be my beneficiary for my fundraising efforts.  Again about perspective.  The Jake Garrett Foundation provides emotional and financial support for parents whose precious children have passed away.  Thank you to everyone who has generously donated. When you see a friend and her family having to face this, marathon training isn’t even on the radar of degrees of difficulty.  The marathon is half a day and families have to be without their little person forever.

Please, let my gradual shift in perspective be proof that once we change the way we view things, what we’re capable of changes!  For physical activity – just get moving!

I have a gorgeous friend who has been sending memes in the lead up to race week – all supportive, some hilarious – so I have a few quotes to share:

You will never grow if you stay in your comfort zone – cliche but true – how we view a challenge matters!

We always over estimate what we can do in the short term but under estimate what we can do in the long term – just start!  Go for a walk around the block to reward yourself. Make it a priority instead of making excuses why you can’t, just make it happen, and see how it feels!

That’s what I’ll be doing on Sunday!

Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results!

What if there was such a perfect world and you were able to be positive in every instance in your life?  Could you imagine that?  I don’t know if I could imagine that?!  Even if you wanted to be, you also know that this is practically impossibly…..

But its lots of people’s advice, isn’t it?  When someone comes out with that ill-timed ‘just look on the bright side’, its not always easy, is it?

Straight off the top of my head I can think of instances when I really and truly struggle to ‘be positive’.  For example, when my computer at work says ‘access denied’ for the fourth week running or when I take my children to the shops and they behave like they have never seen fellow humans before.  Or when I clean the house and my children successfully mess it up within minutes of my completion….you know those moments!

Interestingly enough, prior to each incident I have had hopeful thoughts of ‘this will be a success this time’ or ‘I’m strong enough to handle this today’.  And yet, every time I still react, sometimes in a way I’m not particularly proud of, after the incident.

Albert Einstein said ‘Insanity or stupidity (depending which meme you read) is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result…..  Of course,  I wouldn’t like to think I’m stupid or insane, however, it is with my strengths that I wholeheartedly expect the outcome to be different.

So even when one of my personal strengths is persistence (and I believe one day I will take my children to the shops and they will behave like respectable humans), for now, I have to look at it like it is progress and there is a lesson.  For what I have learned each time is to pick my battles wisely and I know that with each ‘battle’ I’m getting stronger!

‘Pick your battles’ – That is my standard line, mostly to myself to remind me that I get to decide the way I choose to see it.  Right there, is a Sliding Doors (the movie) moment.  I have a choice and I am entitled to choose my response to what happens in my life.  It is the only thing I have control over.

That decision is mine, and yours too, when faced with similarly aggravating situations.

There will be days when it seems the world is against you, but you can choose how you react and then you need to own these decisions.

Are you content when you look back on your decisions, or are you not, and you waste time overthinking them?

You get to choose to do something different – you might be surprised with the results!

Moving forward, I must take my own advice.  When the children mess up the house, take a breath and remind myself – make my decision and own it!

If-insanity-is-doing-the-same-thing-over-and-over-againI could have written this!!