• Kelly Simpson

Facing Your Fears

One of my goals this year is get fit and lose weight.

I had started at the gym about three weeks before lockdown. I was actually starting to enjoy it! I've always hated it before, would got for a month or so and then stop, One year my new years resolution was actually to NOT JOIN THE GYM as it was a waste of money, I'd join every year and fail.

But this year I was honestly disappointed that it closed. I had to keep focused on my goal. The only way I could see forward was to get out and do the absolute thing I hated the thought of...RUNNING!! GGGrrrr shoot me now, I hate it.

Now I know people run every day and it's actually not a big deal.

But for me it holds a horrible memory when I was bullied a school. (Background, my PE report described me as "robust" and "built for shot putt" - I was pretty good at shot putt though to be fair).

I was over weight, couldn't shop in the same clothes shops as friends and well you know, blagh blagh.

It's 1993. Every year there was a the school cross country event. Year 10's and up HAD to do it.

I dreaded it - and I came 121 out of 130.

Honestly I didn't think I actually cared... but when I went up to the recreation room someone shouted across the room "Where did you come Kelly". It felt like the whole room went dead and was looking at me. I HAD to answer. I know this kid did it on purpose and just wanted to shame me. I heard giggles around the room. Awful. Even back then I had thick skin and brushed it off, well I made them think I did.

Fast forward to 1994. Time for cross county race again. Groan. I'd done no training, why would I? - I hated running, I had no intension of taking up any marathons. I was 15 and it was much more fun hanging on out on the local wall watching the world go by.

But that day something came over me. I flashed back the being in that Rec room and being humiliated, that wasn't going to happen again.

This time, when that kid shouted over to me after the race, my answer.... "Eleventh" yes actually 11th, out of 130 people!! I mean, what the actual frickin' hell!

I couldn't believe it! And neither could any one else waiting for my answer. I didn't get a round of applause or any whoop whoops, just cold silence for a second. No giggles this time though, a massive victory - I was feeling very smug and it felt great! I never ran again after that. I'd done what it needed to do.

The thing is, it wasn't my body that got me through that race. It was my determination, mind over matter, the pain of not wanting to be humiliated again and the sincere belief that the bar of Diarylea that I'd stashed down my bra and was eating on the way round for energy was enough to get me at least somewhere in the middle of the pack.

I didn't know this until after the race but the irony is that the first ten runners automatically had to be in the School bloody running team! - Imagine if I'd come one place higher? That would have really pissed on my chips. What a lucky escape! hehehe

So you see, for me running is a massive deal. I'd put that trauma in the imaginary box under the bed where I didn't need to think about it. I didn't want to be reminded of the humiliations I'd suffered.

So here we are in 2021

When was thinking about how I was going to achieve fitness goal when the gym closed down, I started considering Couch to 5K. I chose to look at running differently this time - getting older will do that to you lol What if I didn't think about the first run. But the second. What if I used the determination that got me round the second run to push me forward today, NOT the humiliation of the first to hold me back?

"You can do this Kel, you're a grown arsed women for goodness sake, who cares!"

Well let me tell you. The first session was hard. I went somewhere really quiet, where no one would see me. I pulled a muscle around my hip and I hopped through half of it. But I got to the end. Telling myself it would get easier, I did the second session and then the third. I've even been to my local dog walking park where I know loads of people. I just don't care what people think. Its MY GOAL - and it will be MY VICTORY.

I'm in week three now and I never thought I would be saying this, but I'm actually enjoying it!

I remind myself of these things often....

  • Your mind is a powerful thing. It can work for you - or against you.

  • Don't let your past hold your back

  • Don't let what other people think of you hold you back

  • You choose.

  • Don't let your body hold you back

  • Set a goal and GO FOR IT!

I'd love to hear what goals you have set for yourself?

If you're struggling and thinking the year has started shit - you're right it has. It doesn't have to end shit though. Just pick one thing and go and make it happen. Using anything in your tool box you can. Just get started, just take one step forward!

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