Over a decade ago I was inspired by a revered and popular public figure who ran their first marathon sometime after turning 40. I said, "I'd like to do that one day - run a marathon - sometime in my 40's". Fast forward to November 3rd, 2010, and within minutes of the clock striking midnight, I cried myself to sleep. I had turned 40. My tears were not due to the actual number, but over the fact that my life didn't look like what I thought it would at this age. I was childless despite every effort not to be, and behind closed doors I was hopeless and lifeless. I had many broken dreams and a broken spirit to match.

A month after turning 40 I remembered my words all those years ago and asked my health care practitioner whether I'd be physically able to run a marathon (especially being 20kg / 45 pounds overweight), and if so - how long would I need to prepare. He replied, "12 months". I asked, "Would 11 be okay?" He nodded. That night I registered for the New York City Marathon and the next morning, I started my training program (which was written for me by an expert in aerobic endurance training). To ensure nothing stopped me from realising my dream (like luck in the lottery selection process), I registered with a charity and have a guaranteed place. I now have 9 months to go before I head to New York and realise my dream - running the marathon, three days after my 41st birthday.

This is my journey...

Monday, 21 February 2011

The pointy end of the deal

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, rest and relaxation is as much a part of training as the training itself.

This is something I've been struggling with lately - despite making attempts to wind down, go to bed early and practice the art of meditation, which I completely suck at. As a consequence, I've noticed that over the last week my running has gone from feeling like I'm gliding on silk, to wading through jelly (Australian for jello) - thus proving that R&R is an important component to my program.

This proved to be a catch-22.

The more I tried to relax, the more agitated I would become. The earlier I'd go to bed, the longer I'd spend tossing and turning. I've been driving myself insane. So before this R&R deficit escalated into becoming a real threat to the realisation of my dream, I decided I needed to nip it in the bud and seek professional help. I decided to get acupuncture.

I've had an on again off again relationship with acupuncture. Irrespective of how good I feel afterwards, I have an aversion to the sensation of my skin being pierced with needles. No matter how many times I've received treatment, this feeling is something I've yet to become accustomed to (not even after spending a month in Hanoi getting daily treatment in a locals only clinic just out of town).

As I laid on the treatment table anticipating my first puncture, I nervously wondered why, oh why, did I take this option. A few pricks and agitations later, the practitioner lit a flame and the pungent smell of moxibustion fumigated the room. Then, among the smoke, a clearing appeared - as did the answer to why...

I am doing this because 11 and a half weeks ago, I made a deal with myself. As I stared at my laptop screen contemplating my registration, I had a conversation with myself that went something like this:
"So you want to run in the New York City marathon do you?"


"I'm not sure about this. It'll cost a lot of money. Besides, you've said you've wanted to do things before and then changed your mind. I'm not sure I can trust you."

"That's because all the stuff I said I'd do was to try and keep you happy. I want to do this for me. This is something I've wanted to do for a long time. It'd be a dream come true."

"Fantasy more like it. You're 40, overweight and under fit. You were never good at sport during school and you've never done long distance running, don't you think you're biting off more than you can chew? Why don't you lose some weight first and get fit BEFORE you register, then I might have some faith in you."

"Don't you see, the only way I'll lose weight and get fit is to aim for something big, something that means so much to me that nothing will stand in the way."

"Nothing will stand in the way? Does that mean you'll do whatever it takes to get to New York and run this marathon?"




"Once we sign up, there's no going back. Deal?"

And so lying on my back, getting acupuncture and smoking up the place with moxibustion is me doing whatever it takes. Recharging my batteries so that I can resume the feeling of gliding on silk when I run is why, oh why, I subjected myself to the uncomfortable sensation of having my skin pierced with needles.

That is what I refer to as the pointy end of the deal.

Until tomorrow, remember that deals with yourself matter when it comes to manifesting dreams.

Grace xx

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