I started this blog back in April as a way to supplement the weeks I wasn’t seeing my counsellor and to set my self targets/goals. I could basically either brag about myself or moan, regular readers will know it has been a journey that would make one interesting rollercoaster. I suppose in a way it is my safe place where I can say what the hell I want, because it is all mine. I am acutely aware that people do upon occasion read my random musings and I am so grateful. I just want to say that anything I say is never meant to offend, upset, trigger or affect negatively in any way. It is just me, being me. 100% raw, honest CC.
Now, what I have begin to realise more and more is that misery attracts misery. I am, wherever I possibly can be, a massively positive person. Someone could have me on the floor, kicking me in the ribs and if I liked their shoes I would tell them……. before punching them in the private area. Yet recently I have started to become very self depreciating, very angry and mopy and just generally a bit of a miserable cow! A frown doesn’t suit my English dandelion complexion! However, from a blog point of view, I have started to hit some of my highest views and visitor numbers. To be honest this kind of unsettles me and leaves me in a bit of a limbo. I am so very proud of my blog. I am never fake, I never lie, I never beat around the proverbial bush. I appreciate so much anyone that reads Red Balloons. I hope that me being so open and honest can help people. That it can make people aware of mental health issues and how it could affect them or how it could be affecting some round them. Maybe I shouldn’t be rocking the boat. Maybe I should just accept that some blogs will get more attention than others. I just want the positive side of things, the fight side, the fact that ill mental health does not have to dictate who you are and what you can achieve to be what shines through.
Anyway, having went for a trip round the block to get to the point of this blog, to get started. This will be a HUGELY positive blog, because today I feel positive. In fact, I feel like CC. I feel happy. Genuinely happy. I feel like I have made myself proud. I feel good. I have been more productive today before 11am than I have for the last few weekends, in total! And do you know the secret? Ssssshhhhhhh. Listen carefully……………. it’s because I could run!
I was laid in bed this morning, a habit I am starting to develop that I need to nip in the bud asap! I was feeling utterly lazy. I wasn’t hungover, I hadn’t slept great but it wasn’t the worst I have slept, I just couldn’t be arsed. Scrolling through Facebook as you do, and I was reading all the posts from my awesome RED community and I could see so many of them getting ready for park runs and long training runs and I started to get itchy feet! What was this? It’s been a while! The sun was streaming in the window, I knew it was cold but it looked like a gorgeous morning. I wanted to be out there! Right now. Yet, it still felt like a bit of a challenge to actually move from horizontal to vertical. So, I decided to make myself accountable. And how do you do that these days? You post your plan on Facebook! So it was 0739, I would get my arse out of bed in 6 minutes (I like nice round numbers) and I would go! No distance, no time, I would just run. To see what I could do.
Clock turned 0745 and that was it, I was up, with an encouraging arse kick by MB’s comment. “Go!” Yes, Go CC! Gym gear on, headphones in, my running playlist on loud, out the door and off I went! Not even a coffee first. I didn’t dare. This motivation feeling has been sadly lacking for a while now.
First thought, f*”k me, it’s flipping freezing! To begin my feet felt heavy, like I was having to concentrate on just getting one foot in front of the other, but as my legs started moving, my body started to warm up, my breath started to become hoarser, I could feel the smile on my lips getting bigger, bit by bit. I decided to run a route that I find visually stunning. The sun was blaring down on me and with every step I could feel all the tension, all the negativity of the last few weeks starting to lift. I found myself saying morning to people as they walked their dogs. I haven’t done that for a long time. I found my lips singing along to the songs playing loudly in my ears. It got easier with every metre. I have to listen to my body at the minute, I have had so many different twinges and injuries and illnesses, I didn’t want to exasperate any of them. I kept waiting for the familiar Achilles twinge, the calf tightness, but they didn’t come! I could keep going! I could feel my confidence oozing back, I could feel my brain starting to switch off for the first time in what feels like forever! All that was in my head was the music and the appreciation of being able to run somewhere so lovely.
I honestly expected to have to stop relatively early. 1km came and went, 2km, ok get to 2 mile CC, that will be fab considering what you have been doing. But no, I kept going. Because I could, because I was truly enjoying it, because I wasn’t ready to stop yet. 4km came and went and then, finally, at a point where my chest was saying come on, don’t push it, 5km hit! Yesssssss!!!! After nearly coughing up a lung, I couldn’t help myself and did a little dance on the spot. Go on CC! You are back baby!
5km might not seem a lot to some people. You might think 5km shouldn’t have been such a milestone for me considering it wasn’t that long ago that I was running them daily just because. Today though, I felt like I climbed a mountain. I feel like I have FINALLY smashed through the mental block I have had recently. It felt flipping amazing! I was singing (well miming, no way I would subject the public to my strangled cat tones) and had a proper spring in my step on the walk home. I was so tempted to do Glee style dancing but I resisted, just! I got the biggest genuine smiley selfie I have done in ages, even I admit my eyes look shiny. Yes the laughter lines of my 30’s are suddenly becoming very apparent, but I just see that as a good thing. It reminds me, I love to smile. I love even more to laugh. It’s the best medicine. I started planning my day, but not in a “eurgh, I need to do this” it was an “OK, first I will do this, then this”.
Today is going to be filled with music. Loud music. Currently listening to some Soft Cell – Tainted love. What a tune! I don’t always listen to rave and chavvy stuff haha but I will never be ashamed that I do because I love it! It is going to be filled with college work and planning for next week’s Red Balloons session. It is going to be filled with healthy food, lots of coffee but more importantly, a tonne of smiles. I will talk to lush friends, laugh and just be content to be me, in this moment. Yes, there will be bad days, of course there will, I have an illness. Yet, a day like today can make those bad days and bad thoughts that little bit easier to handle. Good day memories can put a fluffy, shiny edge on a dark, sharp day. That is what gets me through. That is what keeps me going………
That is why I run!
Have a weekend that is filled with as much positivity, love and laughter as you can. If you are feeling low or bad though, don’t be ashamed. This will pass. Until it does though, I am here.
Lots of sunny smiles