I recently joined a running club, near Richmond, for a couple of reasons – one was to motivate myself to get out and run and the second was for the pleasure of company. To be honest the second reason was by far the strongest, but the running is a bonus. And the people are lovely. I have met and enjoyed getting to know them and to share their thoughts, feelings and individual journeys. Being able to help those who share their stories and journeys with me is one of the reasons I trained in Cognitive Hypnotherapy and is an honour frankly.

I was running with the club a couple of weeks ago when they were talking about a local event, The Cabbage Patch 10 (which is taking place on October 15th in Twickenham, taking in Kingston, Ham and Richmond).  The event has been sold out. I said that it’s a shame that it’s sold out as I’d love to take part…
Of course it’s easy to say that when you know that you aren’t participating.
Then came the reply, “Actually I think there’s a place going as somebody has dropped out…would you like it?”

And there it is. And in that moment I had a choice – yes or no.

Now as the event name implies it is over a distance of 10. And that 10 in this case is miles. My longest run of late has also been 10…kilometres. And 10 miles is 16 kilometres.

It’s interesting to me, in moments like this, what motivates us to say things, especially if it is a ‘safe’ comment (If only there were a place I’d have run it). I thought about that. Why did I say it? Well it’s going to be a big event, with a lot of people from the club running it; it’s local and I love the area and also it shows that I want to be a part of something even though I know I can’t actually be a part of it. And I would love to run it, if I thought I could. And I know it’s sold out so I don’t have to actually run it. I showed willing.

The truth is I don’t know if I could up my running from 10k to 16k in the two weeks left before the event.

So the moment of choice. And what if I said no. There’d be no shame in it, other than what shame I attached to saying no (and that’s another blog entirely) and certainly no failure. It might indeed be sensible – the increase in distance is significant and there isn’t much time to increase that safely and without possible injury.

But the possibilities of ‘yes’ are exciting. That word can take us to another level, take us beyond our current (self-imposed?) limitations, and let us experience the new. And we can learn from that, no matter what happens.
We tend to associate ‘yes’ with change and ‘no’ with the status quo.

But the issue isn’t purely physical; it’s about belief and possibility. Can I run 10 miles? I believe so. And what’s the worst that can happen on the day? Injury? Possibly. That I can’t run it all? Also possible, but so what? The important thing for me is to finish and to have fun and take part in a wonderful experience. It’s not about performance, but experience.

I said yes.