This donation was brought to you today on behalf of the letter ‘m’ and the number ‘5’.
— Mystery £100 Donation Number 4
Anyone who knows me knows that, both in training for distance and in life, one of the biggest and most difficult things I struggle with is mental blockers. The Oatmeal hilariously parodied this in his blog on why he’s a distance runner, though my mental blockers are far more dark and brooding. Kind of like being followed by Morrisey or the Cure. And while my 18 year old self would’ve just been thrilled to be chased by a pack of brooding, lyrical poets who have a tendency to lean towards darker and edgier themes, my slightly older than 18 year old self knows full well that while being wrapped in the shroud of sadness can be comforting… it doesn’t get you very far.
So lately I’ve been wrapped in the shroud of sadness. The whole “poor me” theme thumping through my veins. The recent burglary, the ensuing capture of the burglar in the rental car (apparently it was quite exciting and involved the car being rendered no longer drivable), the insurance claims, the victim statements, the rental car company not at all being organised… the whole sad event that probably took the burglar only a half an hour to sort at max has completely taken over the entire past month of my life.
And so the running shoes were left to the side. This, I know, is ALWAYS a bad idea, but it happened.
“During times of stress exercise is one of the best ways to cope” – that’s how the advice columns go. But when you have bad happen in your life it is amazing how much I want to pull myself inward and shut out the rest of the world. To stop living life and just go through the motions of it.
It’s a crap place to be.
I woke up yesterday to the donation who, unlike the other anonymous donors, decided to leave a clue to who they are. I don’t know who did it, especially since I know lots of people who have an ‘m’ for their first initial, if that is even what they are going for. (Though so far the theory is the M5 Motorway … because, well, why not?) But it sort of shook me a bit. Reminded me that the donations I had been collecting, up to the burglary, had been left sitting on the table untouched. It reminded me about the people who do believe in me and what I can achieve – whether or not they wish to be recognised.
So, if you are currently finding yourself stuck.
If you have left your running shoes to the side.
Know that some very experienced, full fledged crazy distance runners have been there.
Check that, who are there.
I put on my shoes yesterday and ran a 5k for the first time in a month. I did it because I know that if I didn’t then I would be giving in to the Blerch and all his cohorts.
And we can’t do that. I still have a bunch of fabulously wealthy anonymous donors to impress.
So, put on those shoes, people. One foot in front of the other.
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