Run rabbit run

Have you ever achieved something that you weren’t sure you’d ever manage?

2.5 years ago I tried running again having done couch to 5k in 2012. I couldn’t do it. It left me in serious pain and I was heartbroken. I wanted to run and I couldn’t.

Roll forward to January 2017 and I decided that being a stone lighter I’d just give it another go. And it turned out I could run. In fact I quite enjoyed it, certainly more than last time.

I did couch to 5k for a few weeks and then decided to go it alone and just get myself up to 5k bit by bit. My aim was to hit 5k in less than 40 minutes having hit 40:50 last time I’d done 5k. The first time I ran 5k this time, in February, I did it in just over 39 minutes. I sobbed that I’d managed to do it… then realised I needed a new aim! Ha!

I aimed for 5k under 35 minutes. Seemed like it would be a challenge and that it would take a fair amount of work. In May I hit 5k in just over 34 minutes. Again i cried – I hadn’t really thought it was possible.

NEW CHALLENGE REQUIRED! – I wanted to raise money for Macmillan in memory of my mum. So I combined a running challenge with a money raising challenge. I entered a 10k race on July 9th and then told everyone so I’d have no choice! (Accountability is a great thing!)

I worked out I’d need to add at least 0.7km each week to hit 9.9k the week before my 10k. Well the first week I hit 7.5k, the week after 8k and then this week 10k. I think I was a little shocked with myself when I finished running. Not excited in an odd way just shocked. See 10k seemed unachievable. I’d come from thinking I’d not be able to run again full stop to running 10k. Totally shocked.

What amazes me is the encouragement that people around me give me. From some of the least expected sources through to the friends who always have my back they have built me up and encouraged me. They’ve inspired me and told me that I inspire them which has inspired me to go even further.

And the best thing is that whilst I go through my shock, and whilst I gain all the fitness benefits, I am also aiming toward raising money for a charity who had my mum’s heart firmly behind them. A charity who helped her in her last fight. Who could want more than that?!


Perception or more?!

This is mostly a rant at myself but you know I can rant at you too if it’ll help?!

Why am I so easily influenced by the worldly perception that showing weaknesses is failure? Why do I let that perception rule my internal thought processes? Why do I seem to think that only perfection is enough for those around me. My whole emotional existence seems to be easily destroyed by such simple comparisons, comments, observations and overthinking.

I’m tired of trying to be wonder-wife, supermum, the incredible friend, captain weight loss and any other super hero you can think of.

It can be putting myself down as a wife because I failed to clean the bathroom or didn’t finish dinner at the time I was aiming for.

Or berating myself because the supermum I aspired to be first thing in the morning turned into the toddler watching almost an entire serious of Fireman Sam whilst the baby naps instead of doing fun activities like making a fire engine out of a box! (and I somehow still didn’t manage to clean the bathroom?!?)

Or a rubbish friend because I forgot something like sending a message or not encouraging someone enough.

Or even just as a person aiming to lose weight. I *should* have lost more. I *shouldnt* have eaten that.

My overthinking mind influenced by a perception from somewhere, where I don’t know, tells me I am not enough and I cannot be enough until I am always achieving.

One of closest and most valuable, lovely friends sent me this the other day.

What if I could live in that mindset?! I don’t really know how it would help me get the bathroom cleaned, the fire engine made, the messages sent or the weight lost but I suspect somewhere God would make it work!!

Achieving is important. Achieving gets things done. Achieving motivates me to do more achieving but the perfectionism and the negative impact that goes with that achieving will destroy me.

So when I feel overwhelmed with an under whelmed soul and an overthinking mind maybe I need to just stop and remember I was made for me!

10 years in a bin it, don’t fix it world 

Have you seen the picture of the elderly couple on social media with the quote about why their marriage lasts? The one where they say it’s because they come from a generation where you fixed something when it was broken not throw it away?

It always makes me think about the world around me. How sad that we live in a world where often relationships are treated in the same way as ‘stuff’. When a relationship isn’t working the way we think it should or is hard to make work it would seem that is somehow OK to throw away and start again somewhere. The sad thing is that often people take the issues that made the first marriage hard or not work properly with them into the next.

Today marks our 10th wedding anniversary.

We were 19 and 20 when we got married and suspect there were a fair number of people around us who thought we were crazy but we firmly trusted that God had his hand over our lives and that our marriage was by his design.

On the whole we’ve had a good marriage so far. But there have been many times when we have just survived. When we’ve made it through tough situations, whether created by our own actions or thrown at us by God and the universe, by the skin of teeth. Infertility, money, death of a parent, trust issues, newborn baby phases and lots more have all left their mark on us and on our marriage. But the thing is we fight for it to make it work. We’ve learnt, far more slowly than is logical, to turn to God for his strength and guidance. The classic wedding verse about three strands being harder to break than two is not just a bible verse, it’s fact!

Marriage is more than a piece of paper you get to mark a good knees up with friends and family. Marriage is a piece of paper which marks a covenant that you make to each other in front of friends, family and most importantly God. It’s you saying that through the easy and the hard, the joyful and the crap, the you-are-amazing-I-want-to-live-in-your-pocket moments and the argh-get-out-of-my-face moments, the two of you will stick together. You’ll fight it out, find the solution, say the sorries, grant the forgiveness, learn from the moments and grow to be better people both as individuals and together.

If you go into marriage thinking the other person will change or that if things go wrong you can just walk away then you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Marriage changes you. YOU. But only if you let it. It’s not about checking something off a list in life to pass to the next level. It’s not about mr right or changing someone to fit to your criteria.  It’s about learning to love someone else first, to build them up and to be the best version of you that you can be in any situation. If we could all manage that then this world would be happier and more full of love [cheesy].

So although this past 10 years have been too filled with moments of just about surviving we come out of the other side of those 10 years changed. Bruised in places, blooming in others but changed mostly for the better.

My prayer for the next 10 years is that it’ll be filled with moments of more than just surviving, that we will find ourselves, our marriage and our family thriving as we keep learning to step in time with God in this crazy marriage adventure.