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Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Running with the angels

In 2009, I was stuck on my slimming journey. I had done quite a lot to slim my figure without doing any particular kind of exercise but I had reached a point where I was plateauing. I wasn't displeased completely with my figure but at the same time, there was still a long way to go for me to feel comfortable in my body. 

I went to visit some relatives in France and got faced with the fact that my closest cousins from childhood who had been chubby like me had both been thin for a long time and I was the only "fatty" left in the family. I did the old thing, which really is pointless but I do it anyway: I compared myself to them and came back with tears of shame in my eyes. 

So I did what I do best when I have exhausted my own resources: I prayed to the angels and asked them to help me find a way so that I could have the body I wanted. That was on the 3th September. On the 4th September, I woke up with the bizarre feeling that I was meant to run. You might wonder why I thought it was a bizarre idea. Well, up until then: I had always HATED running, to the point that I wouldn't even run for my bus or train. I missed quite a few ones in my life because of this. So how did this happen? This sudden change of heart? I could only put it down to my prayers to the angels the night before. 

That morning, there was no stopping me. I went up to soul man with a pair of sports shoes in my hand and asked him "Can I run in these?" He looked at me as if I had been star struck. "Did you say "run" love?" He asked. "Yes I want to run. Can I go today?" Soul man is a runner. When I met him ten years ago he run twice a week and nothing could stop him from his run and yet he never managed to inspire me to go running once in ten years. Even my friend Lizzy who started running a year before, despite asking me several times if I wanted to join her, hadn't managed to make me budge. 

I put my kit together: a sports watch my son gave me, a pair of trainers, some black lycra shorts and an orange top. I made a pony tail and waited anxiously by the door. Soul man laughed. "Not today love. How about tomorrow?" But after lunch, he gave in. 

We went to our local beach with my partner and the children and I left him to make sand castles with them whilst I went for my run. I had never run in my entire life so soul man advised that I only do five minutes, a small pause and then five minutes back. I wanted to do more. But I trusted his advice. And so I did.

The first minute was bizarre. My super strong inner critic kept on saying: "You won't be able to do it, you fool. Why did you tell anyone you were going to run? You won't last more than a minute and you will be a disgrace." But you know what, I ignored it and kept going. After one minute, I was surprised to see that I was doing fine. And I managed to silence my inner critic. And then it hit me: the runner's high. I felt so good I swear I was floating above my body. The next four minutes were child's play. Soul man had told me to pause before coming back but I didn't feel the need to, so I just turned back and ran back to where I had left him. When I reached the lot of them making sandcastles and having fun, I didn't want to stop, so I kept going a little because it felt so good I didn't want to stop. 

My inner critic started talking again "You are going to regret this tomorrow. You won't be able to walk." I think at that point, I told it to shut up. When I walked up to soul man feeling relaxed and probably an inch taller than usual, I said "when can we do this again". He laughed and said "You did well honey". And we took the kids for a fish and chips before going home. 

After that day, I ran twice a week for a couple of weeks increasing slightly how much I ran until I reached twenty minutes. But I wanted to do more and I wanted a running buddy. So I prayed again. I said "wouldn't it be nice if I had someone to run with I said before going to bed". Not because I didn't like running on my own, I loved it, but I guess to have a bit of company now and again. And within hours, my friend Lizzy called and asked me if I wanted to go running with her. I got a kick out of it, because although she is fifteen years younger than me, and teaches bums and tums and other wonderful stuff at a local gym, I easily kept up with her and even managed to chat almost the entire way. She couldn't believe it either. 

On our second run together, we went on my favourite bridge (the Severn Bridge) and we ran 35 minutes. Within six weeks, I run three times a week, 40 minutes. And two months after going for my first run, I ran 50 minutes fror the first time. The following summer, I ran a 5K with the race for life. One of my favourite aunts had just died of bowel cancer and my other favourite aunt was battling with lung cancer. I reached the finish line in tears.  

I guess the reason why I am sharing this story is because I want to inspire you to do something different and to understand that our own mental limitations can be our worst enemy. If I hadn't asked the angels to help me overcome my own limiting beliefs, I would have never given running a try. And what a shame it would have been. 

Once I was able to cancel that belief, I was able to tackle another belief of mine: that I was born fat and that I had a fat gene. In a funny sort of way, I had always associated runners with slimness. And now I was a runner... well... My subconscious finally allowed me to be slim. The plateau on my slimming journey became a memory. 

I wasn't even aware that I had this limiting belief until I went to a running shop with my friend to buy myself some decent running shoes. The guy put me on a treadmill to check my feet. I had never been on a treadmill before so I nearly fell off it when I switched it on. That was funny. Luckily I didn't know he was filming me otherwise I would have run out of the shop. He then routinely said to me, come and look at the video to see how you run. I looked at the video and thought there was a mistake: who was that thin person running on the screen? Lizzy laughed out loud and said "You silly woman it's you". 

That was my running story of 2009. There is a new story for 2013 and I am just about to start blogging about it. 

Have a great day

Ange de Lumiere

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