April 22, 2018

Life Begins at the Edge of your comfort zone

Rosemary at mud run

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”.  Neal Donald Walsch

I’m doing the Luke’s Nukes Mud Challenge  at Nuclear Races in Brentwood on 19th May!  Seven kilometers of lots of mud, water, huge obstacles, water slides, monkey bars for St Lukes Hospice.

Yesterday I was on my way to taster day a Nuclear Races in Brentwood to get an idea what the real thing would be like.  Karen Lintott who’s joining me on the challenge didn’t want to know what she’d let herself in for but I like to be prepared!

On the way I was listening to Radio 4 and heard this quote,”Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”and  it made me giggle!  I was well and truly getting out of my comfort zone, taking the labels off my new shorts and running socks while I sat in the traffic queue.  I  determined to enjoy the morning instead of suffering it and focussed on the spring trees rather than my nerves.

Every time I thought about booking a place on the Mud Challenge my knee started to hurt!

Here's the last obstacle we did yesterday.. I had no idea how high up it was going to be until I was standing at the top with no going back!

Here’s the last obstacle we did yesterday.. I had no idea how high up it was going to be until I was standing at the top with no going back!

It really did…  it put me off for weeks but  just kept coming back.  Back in December, my friend Bernie Bentley posted a link to Lukes Nukes Charity Mud Run asking “I can’t do this right now so would some of you do it for me?”

St Lukes had really supported Bernie through some very challenging treatment, something I know very well as my sister Heather went through the same in 2008.

I’ve found it difficult to be close to Bernie as it’s just too close to home for me.  In fact I’ve avoided any fundraising to do with cancer.   I avoid all the social media “post a heart on your timeline” things.. they just seem so futile after my personal experience supporting Heather which to be honest was downright traumatic.

My knees continued to hurt but one day I phoned Kerry at St Luke’s and asked my burning questions.

1. How hard was the course?   I was seriously unfit. I hadn’t run since 2008.   Kerry reassured me that you can walk, jog, whatever you like and all the obstacles are optional.

2.  Are there showers?   I just couldn’t bear the thought of getting in the car and driving home caked with thick mud.    Yes said Kerry, don’t bring your loofer but there are showers and do remember to bring a spare pair of shoes… and a towel I learnt this weekend after I forgot mine and was dripping wet although mud free after a sbower!

So, I got out my card and booked.   Then breathed ..  a bit.   But why was this so far out of my comfort zone?

 I remembered that I have a very weak bladder..  that’s why I’ve avoided exercise for a long time!

I had four months to train so put off starting for another three months. I started to train at Easter and I was delighted that I managed to run down the hill from my flat. At the same time I remembered that I have a very weak bladder.. another reason why I’ve avoided exercise for a long time! Another challenge on my comfort zone.

Could I get out of it?!

Yesterday I was off to the Taster Day on the course.   Could I get away with not going?

I had loads of excuses not to go.. every time I thought about it my back twinged violently!  I might really hurt myself.  That wasn’t excuse enough.

How would I keep up?  These would be  proper runners in shorts,  I’d done two weeks training!

I’d hardly told anyone I was going so I could have just forgotten!   The only person who would definitely have known is Lucy Watts who wants to complete the course in a four by four wheelchair with friends and Molly, her assistance dog to complete the muddiest bits and the obstacles.   I’d told Lucy I’d check the course out for her and as she’s a woman who lives a very challenging life, I’d have felt a wimp if I’d had to confess I’d not gone because my back twinged when I thought about it!

I avoid getting hot and sweaty at all costs!

My history with eczema has meant I’ve avoided anything that has left me hot and sweaty all my life.   I soon found out that we will be wet and muddy at the Mud Challenge within minutes which means I’ll be pleasantly cool!  We were crawling through muddy water on all fours and it was pleasantly cool on a hot day so that particular fear was out the window!

Me, in running shorts?

It’s been hot, the  hottest April on record.  Last week I was running in combat trousers and I couldn’t possibly turn up for a run on a hot day wearing those.   My heart beat so fast when I realised I had to venture into the world of running gear.  Those people wear short shorts.  I’ve not worn shorts since I was about twenty one! I still have the photograph!

I bought a pair and blended with the others so another assault on my comfort zone was neutralised.  I’m really not sure about flying down my road amongst the commuters tomorrow at 8am but apparently the cold weather will be back so the my trousers can come out again tomorrow!

I’ve had my own cancer scare in the last few weeks

Life gives you a kick up the butt if you’re not looking after yourself and I had a cancer scare myself in the last few weeks.  I’m ok but  one of my resolves is to get much more active..  how can your lymphatics work properly if you’re not moving?

I’ve really understood that my body wants to be moved.. a lot and in many directions.   I’ve started stretching, taking my supplements, taking good oils, lots of greens and the most awful looking smoothies in the mornings that actually taste quite nice although they are full of kale and mung bean sprouts, various oils as well as blueberries and banana!

Would you support me in my challenge?

I have the obligatory Justgiving page..  I’d love your support if  you feel so inclined!   I’ve not done a sponsored anything since 2008 so feel quite comfortable asking for support..   Bernie will be most grateful I know!

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rosemary-cunningham

Thank you for reading and I’m looking forward to a new life with a fitter body, maybe even my running shorts and an extended comfort zone!

 

 

 

 

 

1 comments on this article.

  • Jane says:

    Blimey, Rosemary. What have you let yourself in for? I am well impressed and enjoyed reading the first instalment of your challenge. Onwards and Upwards!

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