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The similarity between running and childbirth

I successfully completed a 10k run yesterday for Cancer Research. I actually really enjoyed it, my legs are feeling it now, but the hour it took was an hour entirely for myself in which I managed to ‘write’ many words of my novel and explore lots of plot lines.

I also managed to sort through some of my muddles in my head. Something’s going on in my life at the moment that is causing me a great deal of anxiety and stress.  I will come out the other of end of this mess stronger.  I hope.

However, whilst running and focussing on my book I was in ‘the zone’. It struck me that the zone I was in was not disimilar to the one I had to get myself in when I gave birth to both my children.

During childbirth my experience was that if you lost concentration on your ‘zone’ which for me was imagining a beautiful, expansive corn field that moved with the breeze every time I breathed out of the contraction, I went into a sort of black hole of reality which lead to despair at the agony and it became a bit like a bad trip (so I’m told, ahem). The point is you need to stay slightly removed from reality and in your own special place. I found this yesterday.  Each time I lost my train my thought I would start thinking about the distance, how far I’d run, how much more there was to go, did my legs hurt, was I tired? All really useless and unhelpful thoughts.  Similar to those thoughts in childbirth, how dilated am I? Is the baby the right way round? Is the head coming down yet? God why can’t this just be f**ing over already?

And I only ran for an hour, God only knows how marathon runners do it. Although I’m already thinking about signing up to another 10k, a marathon needs real committment, more time than I have at my disposal. I did about 5 runs to prepare for yesterday but managed it reasonably comfortably. This says to me that my life now is so constant that I am alot fitter than I thought. I cycle to my station and then I pick up another bike at Waterloo to my office in the West End. It all helps I guess.

But right now, I’m just looking forward to my short break with Jonathan.  I need to recharge.

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