Posts Tagged ‘Couch to 5K’

Spring Garden Painting

Collaborative effort with Jean G. Farmer
(Acrylic on Canvas)

Three weeks ago I pre-registered for a 5K race being held on June 29. I quit running last year after I hurt my foot, and my attempts to get back into it haven’t amounted to much. I would run maybe once a week and then justify reasons to do other things. Gradually I lost my ability to run any significant distance.

Finally, I found myself disgusted at my own lame excuses and decided it was time for action. Signing up for the race and paying the entry fee was my way of making a commitment to a training program. It’s a great example of using one of my known shadows to actually support me in doing what I want to do. Let me tell you how that works.

One of my shadows is “wasteful.” I really HATE the idea of wasting anything, but time and money are at the top of the list. There are good sides and bad sides to this shadow. On a good day, I’m an efficient multi-tasker, happily finding bargains, turning leftovers into creative meals, and washing my Ziploc bags.

On the bad days, I won’t allow myself to relax because it would be a waste of time. I work too hard and pinch every penny, withholding affordable pleasures because my shadow tells me they are a waste of money. I become joyless as I plod through the hours with frugal efficiency.

Working with this shadow taught me to love and accept my wasteful self. I now know how to enjoy wasting hours doing nothing. The other day I actually threw away half a bottle of shampoo because I really hated the way it felt in my hair. There was a time my shadow would have kept me from such a wasteful extravagance.

My new freedom to choose also includes the choice to USE the shadow to support myself in a commitment, like signing up for the race. I knew once I sent in my money, there would be a part of me longing to get my money’s worth. I know that barring a major illness or injury, there’s no way I’ll pay for a race and then not attend. So I’ve been using that shadow to keep me on track with my training schedule. All I have to do is think about the money I would be wasting if I weren’t ready for the race, and voilà! I will accept no excuses. I simply plug in my iPod with its “Couch to 5K” podcast and hit the road. Haven’t missed a session yet.

I like that I can trust that shadow to keep me on track. I like that part of me that doesn’t want to waste the money. It’s probably the only thing strong enough to get me to run, rain or shine! It’s a powerful force, and I’m glad it’s finally working FOR me.

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