Why it’s good to challenge yourself

Do the things you think you can't do

Do the things you think you can't do

‘Do the thing you think you cannot do’ – sounds terrifying doesn’t it, but the more you think about it, the more it makes sense. Some of the biggest achievements of my life have been things I thought I couldn’t do – but I think that self-doubt makes the victory all the sweeter.

Of course there have been times when I’ve had to do the things I thought I couldn’t do, because I didn’t want to do them. There are lots of examples of that in the past few years of my life. Watching my husband become so poorly and frail was definitely up there with things I didn’t want to do, and knowing what came after was even worse.

But they say that with great sadness comes personal growth, and to get there I reckon I need a few things to focus on. One of those things has the added benefit of relieving stress, giving me back some alone time and maybe helping me tone up a bit in the process. I know I’ve told you this already and don’t want to turn into a running bore, but, yes it’s running!

It’s free, relatively quick, and it’s billed as nature’s most effective anti-depressant. 

It just happened that my return to running (it’s been at least a year) coincided with a team from work signing up to do a 10k.

When they asked if I minded if they ran it in memory of Roger, to raise money for the hospice, how could I not join in too?

Now I can’t really class running 10k as something I don’t think I can do, because I’ve done it before – twice. But did I do it well? No. And did I enjoy it? Not at all! I enjoyed the feeling of achievement it brought, but not the physical feeling of running the damn thing!

Challenge sign

Roger got me running in the first place, and I know he’d be so proud to know I was doing it again in his name. Not only that, but I’m part of a team of 24 friends and colleagues from the BBC running the race in Birmingham in May. Together, we are The Substandards, as all of us are journalists and most are sub editors or editors. 

If you’d like to sponsor us, I’ve set up a Just Giving page here.

Trying to do something new has given me a focus and brought some kind of meditation in a way. There’s a lot to be said for challenging yourself, and if I can try not to be too much of a cliche, it reminds me of another quote which sticks in my head – life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not turning into some sort of adrenaline junkie, just trying to work out what it is I want from life and where I could go. It might still be one step at a time, but that feeling is coming that the possibilities are now endless, and with that comes a certain amount of anxiety. But by setting myself little challenges I know I can feel stronger and more able to cope when I realise I’ve ticked each one off.

So I’m going to be making a list of things I want to do, and remembering to celebrate these mini achievements throughout the year.

In the meantime, wish our team luck and I’ll be updating you on how it’s going over the next couple of months.

X Julia

Stopping at two
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  • Reply
    January 30, 2016 at 8:59 am

    So looking forward to running with you, Jules – just off for a training run now. I am slower than a slightly intoxicated snail but I’m keeping at it!

    • Reply
      January 31, 2016 at 7:11 am

      Haha! I’m looking forward to it too, it’s not the speed though is it it’s the taking part – last time I did a 10k it was at walking pace!! x

  • Reply
    Me and Mine - A Portrait for January 2016 - Rainbeaubelle
    January 31, 2016 at 6:51 am

    […] been out the past two weekends in a row which is not like me at all, I’ve got back into running and even signed up to do a 10k in Roger’s memory. There has been sadness, of course, but a […]

  • Reply
    Mackenzie Glanville
    January 31, 2016 at 7:52 am

    That is awesome! And you are so right, I think any exercise mixed with the outdoors is an excellent antidepressant.
    Mackenzie Glanville recently posted…To the beautiful babies in our heartsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Beth @ Twinderelmo
    January 31, 2016 at 8:10 am

    Good luck. I’ve just started trying to run – I’m doing the couch to 5k app and I’m only on week three so the thought of 5k is enough for me!
    I’m glad you have something to focus on. You’re doing ace xxx
    Beth @ Twinderelmo recently posted…Getting Inspired – The Ordinary MomentsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Karen (@karenjwhitlock)
    January 31, 2016 at 11:53 am

    Lots of luck with your run Julia!!
    When in May is it? Will try and come and support you. Hope you raise lots x
    Thanks for linking up to #SundayStars
    Karen (@karenjwhitlock) recently posted…Sunday Stars – 31st JanuaryMy Profile

  • Reply
    January 31, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    I am just starting to run again too, I am not a lover, I have never really got it but I keep agreeing to join friends for charity 5Ks ha! Good luck with your training lovely, I hope it helps xx
    Lisa@intotheglade recently posted…My Sunday Photo!My Profile

  • Reply
    February 1, 2016 at 4:16 am

    Good luck with your 10K race, I hope you do well in raising money for your chosen charity and in achieving what you’d personally like out of the race. I enjoyed reading this because I feel the same at the moment, not about running, but about some other challenges I’d love to take on but feel equally afraid of succeeding and failing at! Running, well, I’d love to get into that again too, but that’s a challenge for another day for me!
    Robyn recently posted…BEST BITS OF THE WEEKEND – 30 & 31 JANUARYMy Profile

  • Reply
    February 1, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Beautiful sentiment – challenging ourselves is so important! My biggest challenge (surviving postnatal depression) has left me so much stronger – and it’s certainly something I didn’t want to do!

    Best of luck with your race. I’ve done 5k before (many years ago when I was actually quite fit) but not 10k. One day!

    Laura recently posted…Book Review: Cat’s Colours by Airlie AndersonMy Profile

  • Reply
    Katie LifeonVistaStreet Haydock
    February 4, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    Good luck! And I am SO proud of you xXx
    Katie LifeonVistaStreet Haydock recently posted…GeronimooooooooooooMy Profile

  • Reply
    Mrs H
    February 6, 2016 at 9:46 am

    It is so great to have something to focus on. And running is such a great hobby. It has so many benefits. And it is good for you to have some time to yourself, to think and to take in the world around you. Good luck with the training and I can’t wait to read more about it. Hugs Lucy xxxx
    Mrs H recently posted…Rocky road cookies recipeMy Profile

  • Reply
    Mini Travellers/Mini Ventures
    February 14, 2016 at 7:22 am

    I’m just catching up and now I know you can do the 10k, go you! You’ve got up to that really quickly, so you must be loads fitter than you thought. That’s brilliant. Always good to have a challenge in mind I think!
    Mini Travellers/Mini Ventures recently posted…My Captured Moment – TiggerMy Profile

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