Yesterday was my first running event of the season. Notice how I don’t use the R word. The reason for that is that I am actually not the least bit competitive.
I’ve always enjoyed participating in various sports and activities but have always crumbled under the slightest bit of pressure to compete. I’ll give you some examples from my childhood…
Loved it! I couldn’t get enough of the training. I practiced my routines til I could do them in my sleep.
The day of the competition arrived and gone was the energetic, confident Me, and in her place was a tearful, shaking mess who could barely climb up onto the trampoline let alone complete my routine. I sobbed the whole way home.
The next day at training I completed my routine perfectly – much to the great annoyance of my coach.
Playing the flute came naturally to me and I really enjoyed practicing and playing with the school orchestra.
One teacher insisted that if I wanted to continue playing, I had to do the grades. Cue more shaking and tears. I don’t think I managed to get more than 5 notes out of the flute come assessment day and even those were wrong ones. I sobbed the whole way home again.
The next day in my lesson, I breezed through the scales – much to the great annoyance of my teacher.
I could go on with examples, but I think you see the pattern emerging here. Too much pressure to perform on the day = failure & tears.
Maybe it comes down to the fact that I know that I will never be the best and that actually, I’m not that bothered about it.
I tend to be middle of the road in most things I do. I start off pretty well, picking up the basic skills with ease, but then it comes to a certain point and I just stop progressing. I was a member of many teams and clubs – swimming, netball, drama, athletics and of course trampolining. But I was never the star player.
I am Jack of all trades and Master of none.
Luckily for me, I am also a firm believer that it’s the taking part that counts.
So back to my point, yesterday’s running event.
Several weeks back, Gym Buddy asked me if I wanted to join her and another guy she knows on an organised 10k run in our local town. I of course agreed.
Gym buddy and I began training together. The guy, who is a member of a running club, did not train with us. For some reason, Gym Buddy was under the impression that the The Guy was about the same pace as us. One week before the event, Gym Buddy and The Guy went for a run together and very quickly found out that that wasn’t the case. We shall now rename The Guy as Slow Man. (Sorry, Slow Man!)
Nevertheless, we promised to stay together. Since I wasn’t expecting a world record, winners medal or even a PB – I wasn’t bothered in the slightest about taking it slowly. Instead, Gym Buddy and I were planning to use it as a workout, a bit of fun and a good start to the season.
With that in mind, we hit the gym for a 40 minute upper body circuit before we met Slow Man to head towards the start line. The weather was perfect, seriously perfect. Bright sunshine, around 18 degrees, with a delightful breeze. The route took us through the country side down lanes, tow paths and bridleways. We saw fields, ponies and even a Llama would you believe it. Gym buddy and I chatted and laughed the whole way (whilst Slow Man puffed a few paces behind us). It was probably the most enjoyable run I have even been on. We made up for the slow pace by adding in some sprints, then jogging back to join Slow Man.
We reached the finish line after 1 hour 11mins (about 20 minutes slower than our usual pace) but it didn’t matter a bit. We had a fantastic time and felt like winners. So much so that Gym Buddy and I have already signed up for our next event, a 10mile run at the beginning of June.
Slow man on the other hand probably never wants to do another event with such hyperactive and noisy companions. Perhaps we did overdo the Lucozade a little…