Not long after the final fireworks had disappeared and the concluding notes of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ had floated away in the January breeze, I ran up the 14 steps to my boyfriend’s bedroom and had to stop when I got to the top to catch my breath.
My calculations (and google searches) suggest that’s about 8 feet of movement.
Something clicked; I’d been complaining about clothes feeling tighter and not feeling as chipper as I used to since the summer, without really taking any measures to deal with it – I was unhealthy. Not necessarily fat, just unfit.
Thankfully, due to the plethora of ‘New Year: New Me’ marketing strategies at the start of the year, I was able to bag a cheap membership for access to two PureGym facilities, one in my local Sunderland gym and the other through in Newcastle. I also managed to coerce the other half into leaving behind his usual gym to join me for motivation and, more importantly, telling me what to do. We started straight away but started gently: an hour and a half, three times a week, including weights and cardio.
Alongside my new fitness goal, my diet of wine, beer, Thai take-away and cheese and onion crisps experienced a full overhaul. I downloaded My Fitness Pal to track my meals and convinced my (very accommodating) boyfriend to take part in Dry January with me – a concept we’re planning to adopt (intermittently) throughout the year.
My lifestyle revamp resulted in a 9lb loss in the first 4 weeks, a much clearer head and a generally happier Leck. Yay me!
But then the fear set in.
How can I keep this up for the rest of my life? Even the rest of the year? What happens when I fall off the wagon? I’ve got a a festival and my graduation in July, a Hen Do in August and a wedding in October (not my own)! Surely I’ll give up then.
Which is when I had my epiphany:
“I need an incentive.”
I needed something that pushed me to keep lifting those weights, running on that treadmill, and avoiding those cakes that my dad loves to bring home on a Tuesday evening ‘just because’ – thanks Pops! It had to be something big, because I’m a quitter; I quit things. My mam loves reminding me that as a child I quit gymnastics, horse riding, tap dancing, ballet dancing and football right after we’d paid all the £££s for the equipment. I’d rather not carry that habit on into my adult life.
And then it hit me!
“Do it for someone else.”
If I have other people relying on my then I can’t wimp out. I have to follow through. Better yet, do it for someone who needs you to succeed – my fear of failure is wildly outweighed by my fear of letting people down; that alone would keep me going. Amazingly, as if all my stars had aligned, I went into work the next day to find two charity event managers talking to my boss about their biggest external fundraising event every year and asking if we had any willing participants. That event is:
The Simply Health Great North Run 2017
This was the breakthrough I’d been waiting for! Applying for a charity ballot place at this year’s Great North Run was the ideal combination of far enough off that I could feasibly train myself to a passable standard, and close enough that I couldn’t fob it off and forget about it until 2 weeks before. And to top it all off I’d be doing my bit for the cosmic state of the universe by supporting a cause who really deserves the awareness – the North East Autism Society. It was the perfect solution.
So that was that.
It was decided. The girl who has run, at best, 1.3 miles in one go, is going to run 10 times that in 6 months. And I’m going to write about the no doubt painful, but thrilling, journey for whomsoever decides they’d like to know about it. Please join me for the ride.
I’m running. I’m running 13.5 miles. I’m running 13.5 miles for charity.
190 days and counting!