I haven’t done a fitness event of any kind since last July. Plans for several runs last year went out of the window when I relocated, and other life stuff got in the way.
Part truth… part excuse, if I’m harsh on myself.
Last year, I signed up to the Moonwalk with some good friends. If you haven’t heard of it, the Moonwalk raises money to fight breast cancer. It’s a walk through the night, either 15 miles or a full marathon.
What I didn’t know when I signed up for it was how much of an issue I would have fitting in any training – and how much my fitness levels would have slipped back. I also didn’t know my own mother was going to be diagnosed with the disease in a matter of weeks. The fundraising suddenly got a little more personal.
I moved house a few days before the walk. An old knee injury was giving me some hassle, mainly as a result of carrying too many boxes up and down too many stairs. On the night I set out to walk a marathon. My knee, coupled with a hip problem I have had since my teens, scuppered my plans. After four and a half hours of continuous walking through the streets of London, as the sun started to come up, I realised I didn’t have another 13 or so miles in my leg. So I reluctantly dropped onto the shorter route, completing it in six hours.
It meant that I didn’t get to walk across the finish line with my friends. It did mean a couple of other things though.
It reminded me how much I love a big event. Getting the pack with your number in through the post. Walking to the venue with all of the other competitors. The build-up on the day. Waiting for your turn to do the thing. Crossing a finish line. Competing only with yourself.
It also meant that I was back in the game. Kind of. I have much fitness to regain. Once again, I have weight to lose. But it has begun. Again.
It reminded me too, that diet and exercise is, and always will be, a constant challenge to be faced. And it is very, very easy to slip back into bad habits.
I was disappointed not to have done the full walk. But did not finish is better than did not start, which is better than didn’t even register because I didn’t believe that I could. When you stand on a start line at an event, you are doing more than most people ever do.
Onwards and upwards.