Fear and Doubt

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The last two weeks have been marked by stalling, fear and doubt. I don’t really like admitting to fear- it signals weakness and vulnerability…but what is wrong with that? These are natural and human responses that sooner or later we have to meet head on.

Fear and doubt are partners. One prompts and strengthens the other. One exists only because of the other. While we can dispell them, it is courage that overcomes them. While this courage comes from within, it is at its strongest when channeled from the outside: through encouragement.

We all have our fears and doubts. The support of others really makes a difference. A big thank you to everyone who in some small way has provided some of this great support. It is the fuel that moves me forward. Time now to crack on!

I have returned to a quote from Paul Hawken, the great American environmentalist, activist and writer. I have been fortunate to spend time with Paul on a number of occasions when in San Francisco and can hear his voice when I read his writing. His last book “Blessed Unrest” has its name taken from a quote. Part of it is mentioned below. It is a conversation between two people (De Mille and Graham):

De Mille: “But”, I said, “when I see my work I take for granted what other people value in it. I see only its ineptitude, inorganic flaws, and crudities. I am not pleased or satisfied.”
Graham: “No artist is pleased.”
De Mille: “But then there is no satisfaction?”
Graham: “No satisfaction whatever at any time,” she cried passionately. “There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others. And at times I think I could kick you until you can’t stand.”

The full quote is worth reading. If you want to read it, send me a message and I will post it for you all.


Training log: October- Pain and Doubts. Running into uncertainty.

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Title: Amelia Earhart wearing a dress standing...
Title: Amelia Earhart wearing a dress standing beside a plane, circa 1928 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

October remains a memorable month in my training and preparation. Injury, delays and perseverance to move forward.

I delayed the start of the 10 City Bridge Run three times during the month, often to the frustration of others. The delays were unwanted but also welcome, and caused through insufficient funding and concerns about how the petition would be delivered in Seoul. I still have some concerns about financial backing to ensure that I do not come unstuck half-way through the event.

Delaying the start until the beginning of the G20 Summit was a good decision for a more meaningful delivery of the petition. Analysing other G20 Summits, there is such a media circus and gathering of interest groups that a petition would have had negligible meaning and just been lost in the crowd. Now the decisions that are made (or not made) by the G20 leaders become the focus for the petition, which is a tool to appeal for action holding the leaders to account for the decisions they made.

Early in the month I had great discomfort around my ankles particularly through overtraining combined with insufficient stretching. I introduced more stretches, along with ‘dynamic stretches’ which soon overcame the reduced range of movement and pain.

Throughout the month I have experience significant discomfort in different parts of my calves, which was mostly muscle pain and something that is not uncommon among distance runners.

Presently, since last Wednesday ‘shin splints’ located on the inner left shin became almost unbearable running where running a few metres was not possible. I have been resting my legs and doing a lot of stretching and strengthening exercises. I expect to be fully fit to run by 11 November.

Delays and injury create their own problems with mental preparation creating doubts and uncertainty. Delaying the start of the event creates the hassle of reorganising everything, and concerns over credibility in the eyes of others. This is more a question of perseverance and learning to accept that things change. Ultimately, I have to accept that while I can set a schedule I am not ultimately in control because of the influence of external factors.

I take inspiration from the words of the great aviator Amelia Earhart who was reported missing in 1937 and declared dead in 1939. She truly was a trailblazer”

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.