Everyone has their ‘me time’ – that precious little part of the day that belongs to you, and you only. It might be the fifteen minutes when you get up in the morning before the rest of the house stirs, and you can sit with a cuppa and leaf through the paper. Maybe it’s the hour on a Sunday when you don’t have to work and you take yourself off for a walk to escape the everyday chores. Most people savour it, for it is precious. Yes, yes yes. It’s vitally important, and now even Weight Watchers agrees.
My time is running. Working from home, I’m constantly surrounded by animals (usually tripping over them), farm-noises, phones ringing and so on. I rarely get peace. Much as I am a sociable person, I prefer my own company and I like quiet. Going out for a run first thing in the morning is a chance to ready myself for the day, wander in my own thoughts and build my psychological strength. My mental health is a squillion times better when I’m running regularly.
What’s that got to do with unintentionally offending someone?
Well, I’m back running on a regular schedule. I’ve signed up for Perth 10k in August, so I’m building up my runs gradually. I’m enjoying it immensely. However, it would seem that this is an open invitation for people to join me. A person (not familiar with my blogosphere) decided to do just that, and ‘invite’ themselves to train with me, ‘push me on a bit’ and sign up for the race too.
Internally, I exploded into a fiery ball of rage. Italians are great at that. How I managed to keep it in I don’t know. Externally, I smiled in the friendliest fashion I could, and calmly said I’m not much of a sociable runner, I’m not long back running so therefore slow, and that I like to go out super-early around the farm. Said person looked at me like I’d kicked them, proceeded to throw a sulk and be generally weird with me the rest of the time I was in their company.
I’m not sorry.
The reason I got so angry (inside) was that it’s MY time. There are advantages to running with others, and I do it once in a while. But it’s MINE. I decide when to do what, not be dictated to by someone else. That person assuming it would be nice to have a jolly and trying to ‘help’ me by doing a bit of running was unwittingly taking away the only time I have for me. I had to put a stop to it, or else I would lose the only thing that I actually allow for myself. Also, thinking that because they run faster than me (for now) means that I could ‘learn’ from them was a touch on the insulting side. I’m fat, I’m not a novice. Christ, I ran 16 miles to my WWs meeting once, just for fun.
I hated being in a running club amongst incessant chattering. If you can talk, you’re not pushing yourself hard enough. Also, I’ve been running long enough to coach myself. I find very little advantage to running with someone faster than me – I know my limits well, and EVERY run is me pushing as much as I can. I went from being able to run for less than five minutes at a time to 13.1 miles (Just over 2 hrs) in less than three months. No-one will ‘push me on a bit’ more than I will by myself. Ever.
I feel so much better for letting this all out, so thanks for reading, everybody. I suppose what I’ve learned is that in putting myself first, which needs to be done, someone might get offended. But that’s okay, it’s not intentional.