Tuesday, 5 November 2013

A New Focus

So it turns out that I'm really, really awful at blogging when I don't have deadlines to meet and hours in the library to while away. I have no reason to procrastinate, aka no reason to read everything ever on the internet, aka nothing to rant about. Apologies, although I'm pretty sure that no one really minds.

To be honest I haven't really had time. Before you say, "That's ridiculous, you can always make time", hold fire. I know I can make time, it just so happens that I'm terrible at making time. You're preaching to someone who, at nearer 23 than 22, has to make goals each week to keep her life in order. Things along the lines of "This week I will put my clothes away before I go to sleep", "This week I will go to bed at an acceptable time each night", "This week I will leave on time for work". It was meant to all come together so that a month into having a job and masquerading as an adult my life would be a seamlessly organised machine that would prevent stress, tiredness, and dark looks from my boss. It didn't work.

But the one thing that really is taking up most of my time, the thing that is supposed to be the main focus of this particular post, is running. I joined a running club and haven't really looked back. Let's be honest, I haven't had time.

Once I started working and settled into a bit of a routine, I started looking at gyms in the town I work in. There are only two, so there wasn't really a lot of research needed - I just picked the cheaper one, which happens to be right across the road from my office (or perhaps I chose the closest one, which happened to be cheaper. Regardless, I think I win on both accounts). But in my brief Googling I stumbled across Kidlington Running Club, and eventually I emailed them and went along for a run.

I may or may not have painted my nails to match my vest...

I don't think I could recommend anything more than I can recommend joining a running club (except for bananas, mangoes, and travelling, which come in at around the same level. And new running socks). I've stumbled across a bunch of people that love running, are incredibly welcoming and friendly, and seriously motivating.

I always thought I was a lone runner. I've never found people to run with, except for a stint with my brother (and one of my sisters. Occasionally) over the summer, so I never really realised how great it was. I still love running on my own, I enjoy the freedom to run how I want to run, think about what I want to think about, but running with other people pushes you, and forces you to improve. I never thought I had a competitive side, but speed and hill training has quashed that particular myth. It's amazing  how fast my legs will go when I find myself in an all out sprint-to-the-finish at the end of a 400m fast lap...

Run swag. So beautiful.
In fact, running with other people who are far better than me has made me want to really push myself. I did my first cross country race of the season at the weekend, and it was fun but seriously hard. I came 43rd out of 190 and I'm now just determined to improve on that. So, since I'm living back at home where none of my friends live, I'm going to take advantage of having no social life and focus on running.

Obviously I'm never going to become a professional athlete, but aren't the most rewarding things in life the ones we have to work the hardest for? I thought about this the other day, and apart from a few piano exam pieces, the only activity I've really put any effort into in my whole life was making the hockey team at school. I went to hockey practice almost every week for a whole year without being put on the team and eventually it happened. Not that I was very good, but I enjoyed it. And I think it's time I made an effort for something once again.

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