Our Claire is facing a challenge…
On Facebook the other day, someone in the running group I belong to posted a Twelve Days Of Christmas challenge. The challenge was to run twelve days consecutively, starting with one mile and then adding a mile to your distance each day – a grand total of 78 miles. As the furthest I’ve ever run was 8 miles, I knew this would be beyond me so I didn’t take any further interest. Then a friend suggested I scale it back to something more realistic: to run one mile each day for twelve consecutive days. So this is what I’ve decided to do.
I couldn’t have imagined three years ago – before I began running – ever taking on such a challenge. I was born with deformed legs and feet and, back then, the forecast was that I’d be in a wheelchair by the time I was a teenager. Thankfully, that’s never happened. However, the muscles below my knees have never really developed, I have next to no flexibility in my ankles and I have a variation of “club feet”. So it is no surprise to me that I’m the slowest in the running group. Yet, until this year, my aim was to run faster every time I went out.
Although, logically, this was an impossibility, I was very hard on myself whenever I came up short – which was pretty much every time I ran. So I’d grown to dislike running. However, during this pandemic, I’ve begun running with a friend from the running group and she’s kept on at me to relax and not get worked up so much. Many months later, I’m enjoying running again.
Like the Twelve Days Of Christmas challenge, a change in attitude has made a difference. The group leader at the running group calls this “Making your impossibles possible”. I think this is a very handy life skill to acquire. Whenever something seems impossible it could be for a very good reason or it could, more simply, require a re-framing of the problem.
I know from experience that there’s no greater satisfaction than when you defy the odds and achieve what you thought impossible. So, when faced with a seemingly insurmountable problem, don’t just dismiss it out of hand or set yourself up for failure. Instead, consider what needs to be done for you to run up that hill.
PLEASE NOTE: If you’re struggling to cope, WHISC is available for Listening Ear calls. Give them a call on 07708 381568 or, alternatively, leave a message on their Facebook page with your phone number and they will ring you back.