Hello! It’s Marie here, one of the co-founders of GINA and not the one who ran 100 miles. That was Lisa!
You may have seen our tweets and messages about our new running group and thought ‘yeah, that’s all well and good if you think running 100 miles is fun, but it’s not for me’. I can assure you, there is absolutely no part of me that thinks running 100 miles is fun, I’m not convinced running 10 miles is fun… right now, even attempting a mile makes me question my own sanity. You see, I don’t find running fun.
That’s why I want to do it.
It sounds stupid doesn’t it? I hear all those comments that come our way saying ‘I couldn’t even run for a bus’ or ‘no thanks, I don’t have time’ or ‘but I can’t run’… blah, blah, blah. I have used them too and I have a very long list of excuses which only serve to make me feel a little bit worse about myself every time I use them.
You don’t have to want to run 100 miles, a marathon or a 5k in order to benefit from trying. I am in awe of these slightly crazy people who can run for hours, keep smiling and within minutes of finishing are already planning their next event. I don’t have that feeling.
For me, running is a test. It is a way of training my brain to understand that excuses are not acceptable. It is one of the most cost effective ways of keeping fit, it forces me to take time out and get some fresh air and when I come home, I feel really proud of myself that I didn’t give in to that little voice in my head telling me ‘I can’t’… because I can and I did!
Getting started is pretty terrifying. It’s not even about getting to that first lamp post. The fear starts before you get changed into your running kit. The comfy shorts or leggings, the baggiest t-shirt you can find and the most comfortable trainers you own. Then you have to get out of the front door. Well, you’ve got the kit on so you’d feel a bit silly lying on the sofa in your training gear. You’re out. Now what…?
All of these fears will disappear when you join our group. You’ll be part of a group of people, all stood around saying to each other ‘why are we doing this?’. There’s a beautiful camaraderie that comes from being stood in a park wearing clothing you usually wouldn’t even consider leaving the house in. You’ll have done the hardest part by then. You won’t have let that little voice in your head get the better of you.
I’d love to be able to tell you that running will change your life… that you’ll never look back and after the first session you’ll be waking up every morning, leaping out of bed and racing to find your running shoes. It might… but in reality, you might go through that same pattern of excuses for a little while. You might stand in the park every Wednesday for a year asking your new running buddies why you’re doing this to yourself.
It’s the decision you make to go running that will start to change your life. You’ll be training your brain to ignore the excuses and there is no feeling on earth quite as satisfying as drowning out that little voice. You will start to feel really good about yourself because you have committed to making a change and you are taking action. You will meet other people who feel as nervous as you do and they will become your biggest cheerleaders… just as you will become theirs.
So, if any part of you has wondered ‘what if…’ as you have read this, sign up and join us. You don’t need to be wearing the latest in high performance gear; just comfortable clothing that you can run / walk in. Wear trainers that you are comfortable in and bring some water. You won’t be asked to do laps around the park while Lisa is shouting at you in military style to move faster. You will simply be asked to follow some gentle warm up exercises, try some running at a pace you’re comfortable with and don’t worry… you won’t be the only one who needs to stop for a walk or maybe a lie down on the grass!
Marie was involved in GINA between March 2014 and March 2015.