“The hardest part is getting to the start line…” that’s what we keep telling ourselves…and it’s true.
100 miles in a year is one thing, but 6am starts to get to the gym four or five times a week gets tiring!
Post Yorkshire Warrior it really did become a chore to get out each day…I had recognised that I needed to do more running, but quickly developed shin splints which just drag you down. If I can’t even run 400 meters how on earth am I going to run 26.2 miles next April…or even the 7.5 miles in June??
This annual challenge is not just tough because of the distance or obstacles; the work before has to be varied, to cope with the runs, but also to be able to overcome obstacles that require good upper and lower body strength which doesn’t just come from running.
Spinning, Running, Weight Training, Circuits, Core and Plyometric Exercise fill the week at varied times but generally increasing as we get close to events dates. Most of the time this is enjoyable and the community in a gym is great motivation.
Thankfully we’ve planned to ease ourselves in the first few months, but come August we’ve really got to be ready, with two Tough Mudders in 6 weeks and then Spartan Race in October, where if you fail at an obstacle, the punishment is 30 burpees!! Each time!! (And if you don’t know what a burpee is take a look… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6K-aaPSgZWs )
In late April/Early May the questions were really starting to get into my head…can I really do this? Is this just a stupid idea (yes!) that my body is telling me I can’t do? (You’re not 25 you know!) Serious questions when I have to make sure I’m not doing my body damage…but what was really tough was that others were asking the same questions.
When you’re tired, injured, struggling, and doubting yourself you don’t need others to doubt you and tell you that you can’t do it!? To tell you that they think you are stupid or you’re over doing it!
You need someone to say keep going, to tell you that they think what you are doing is brave, to encourage you or as one Marie Bellamy (a local fitness instructor) shouts regularly, “YES YOU CAN!!!”
This experience can so easily be reflected back to the young people we are working with. How often do young people get told in the media, by teachers, so called friends or even family that they can’t…that they will fail. Many of those we work with have the attitude ‘why bother??’ as they will only fail. They have experienced failure so many times that they are fearful of even trying. Without wanting to get political, this has been compounded by the hoops that they have to jump through in order to receive financial support which will help them find a job…one wrong step and you have failed.
At our YMCA, we want to be the ones who get alongside these guys and girls…to encourage them, to give them new experiences, to give them a leg up over the barrier in front, a hand up when they fall flat on their faces, and when everyone around them including themselves are say “I can’t” to be the ones shouting at the top of our voice…”YES YOU CAN!!!”
A couple of weeks ago after some good advice, I just took things back to basics…stopped running, (as this was just aggravating the muscles around my calves) make sure you continue to exercise and get some help with releasing those leg muscles…(I’ll blog later in more detail about injuries) and thankfully things are looking more positive now…it’s amazing what a difference it makes when you get positive people around you!