Gym Day Thirty: Bitter Sweet Victory

First, I should mention that I completed the 20 minute run.

There’s a huge part of me wanting to downplay my effort, because I went at a slower pace and had a 15 second blip where I dropped to walking, but I need to tell that part of me to shut the hell up. Because I did it. I ran (jogged) continually for 20 minutes. The longest I’ve ever managed in my life and I did it with a smile on my face towards the end. I’m proud of myself and I know that this is a significant milestone to have passed.

Even better, I wasn’t gasping for breath by the time I finished either. Sure, I was out of breath and my legs were sore, but I was okay. I had a conversation almost as soon as I got off the treadmill and my heart rate was manageable throughout. I never felt sick or jelly legged or anything like that . . . just often like I couldn’t be bothered.

And that is the biggest takeaway from today: it wasn’t my ability that let me down before, it was my mind. My mind said ‘no’ and my body said ‘yeah, you’re right.’ I’m not going to let that happen again (not when it’s just a case of CBA anyway . . . if I’m actually ill or injured, that’s another matter).  It was hard, yes, but I did it and that is what I need to cling to in the weeks going forward. I can do this. I just have to trick my brain into allowing my body to get on with it.

But the bitter sweet part, you ask? Well . . . one of the regulars at the gym died on Wednesday. And I don’t mean a member of the gym, I mean one of the staff. His name was Ramji and he was the kindest, sweetest man around. I think he had downs syndrome or something similar, but it never stopped him showing up for work and being friendly. We always stopped to have a chat, to talk about our weekends, or what we hoped for in that session. He always had some news for me, or something to show me, a cheerful high-five or a smile when I felt down. And now he’s not there any more.

I don’t think I want to say any more than that today. I’m not sure that I can. That’s two deaths in the past fortnight and there’s a scared part of me waiting for the third one with not a small amount of fear.

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