On Saturday morning, I went to parkrun as normal and helped to set up the course. At the start line my husband and I wished each other “Good luck and enjoy the run!“. I positioned myself towards the middle of the crowd of enthusiastic parkrunners. The Run Director shouted “Start!” and off we went. So far so good. I didn’t expect things to develop the way they did.
I started jogging and within 200 metres, I started falling further and further behind. I was trotting, hardly lifting my knees high enough to call it jogging or running. I switched to walking. Twenty metres on, I pushed myself to pick up the pace. I overtook some of the people that had passed me earlier.
My body was feeling heavy. My right calf felt tight. I had slept deeply and long enough yet my head and my mind were feeling somewhat odd, kind of thick. My mind was empty of thoughts, yet it felt tired of thinking.
The first thoughts of not completing the full 5km appeared. “Maybe I’ll do two laps and then call it quits. That would be around the time that Simon would be done by, too.”
The other voice in my head said, “Really? But you know you can do this. Why turn up and not finish this run? You’ve been doing this for over three years and completed over 80 parkruns. Last weekend, you did two 5km runs in two consecutive days without a problem. You know finishing isn’t an issue. How would giving up on your run translate into the rest of your life?”
Lap one nearly done. Three more to go.
But then, I ducked off course. I sneaked into the quiet garden where a couple were practising Tai Chi. I headed over to the centre, where there is a balcony with a clear view of the lake and a fountain with a couple of intertwining dolphins. I stared for a minute at the lake. Then I turned back, joined the rest of the runners and carried on with my second lap.
As I turned around the corner reaching the parkrun flag near the finish line for the second time, I spotted Simon who had just finished. I walked over to him. As we headed out of the park, he asked me why I hadn’t completed the course. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I uttered: “I don’t want to talk about it right now.”
To be honest, at the time, I had no idea what my real reason was for giving up. I could have made up stories like “I would have taken too long to finish and we had other things to get on with” or “My calf felt tight” – yet I’ve persevered through more severe pains.
This was not about running. This was my mind crying out for a break for a variety of reasons. Over the past few weeks, I’d been feeling the weight of various important things that I have to deal with in my personal life. They’ve been looming like a dark cloud over me. I feel like dealing with these things will steal precious time away from my business and I don’t have time for that right now. I’ve got challenging targets to hit. Yet these things have got to be done and I’ve got to do them. I’ve got to take the lead in the first instance.
So, I leave those for the evenings but in the evenings, I want to, and need, to let my mind rest, so I can go to sleep without my head buzzing or my eyes tired from staring at the computer screen sorting out these things. For some of the weekend, I need time to completely switch off so I can have the energy to get on with work during the week.
The pressure of these energy zappers has made me consider ways of simplifying my life by giving up on ‘things’ that I’ve wanted in life for a long time. But then, would I regret if I make such decisions? No wonder my head’s been bursting and I’ve been feeling low.
Fast forward a few hours to two o’clock in the afternoon. My mind was even busier with all sorts of thoughts; even more tension had built up in my body.
We arrived at the Lodge.space, a local venue dedicated to fitness, yoga, health, which also has dining facilities. A week earlier, Simon had picked up a leaflet that they were celebrating their first birthday and opening the space to non-members for taster sessions of a selection of their classes and treatments, plus some other treats.
We didn’t know what to expect from the afternoon and if we’d like the activities that we’d signed up to attend. We both like massages and have done various yoga classes in the past, so we were curious to check out what this local venue had in store. Earlier in the week, we had called to see what treatments and classes were still available. Unfortunately, all the slots for the treatments had gone. So, we booked to go a Vinyasa Yoga, a Flexibility and a Breathing class.
As we were waiting to sign-in, I overheard that someone had cancelled one of the free treatments, so there was now one available. I was curious to find out more. I didn’t really hear what the receptionist explained to me, but I thought, “I’m in such a bad state, I could do with some sort of treatment, so I’ll give it a go and miss the yoga.”
I headed downstairs to my treatment, but before I reached the bottom, I was greeted by a huge sign on the wall:
“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.”
“Yeah, tell me about it. The entrepreneurship road is difficult indeed. Life is difficult. I rarely take the easy road.” I didn’t want to dwell on it and get swept up in negative thoughts again. This was my chance to switch off and shift things. So, I recalled memories of stunning views from green mountain tops I’ve seen after trekking up tough, steep paths, sweating, my heart beating fast and breathing heavily.
As I turned around the corner of the corridor, I spotted treatment room 3. I sat on the bench, and behind me was another sign on the wall:
“No matter how you feel… Get up, dress up, show up, and never give up.”
Ouch! That stabbed me in the heart. “I got up, I dressed up, I showed up… but I gave up!” I felt ashamed. It still weighed on me.
I sat down patiently waiting to be called for my appointment. As my eyes wandered to the wall opposite me, and I noticed a poster with all the different practitioners and I spotted that of the person I was about to see; Darryl Kempster. Dragon Energy healer. “What?! I’ve never heard of it before.” The brief description talked about helping issues of a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual nature. “Intriguing… that’s going to be a first“, I thought to myself.
A few minutes later, I relaxed into a wooden chair, straightened my torso and closed my eyes. Gentle, calming music was playing in the background. I could smell the incense burning near me. The earlier few minutes of yoga had helped tame my busy mind and this was my chance to take this a step further. I tried to focus on my breath and let my thoughts pass by.
I could feel the fingertips of the healer on my shoulders, moving to my neck and then to my head and back to my shoulder again. Just before the end, he made a swishing kind of sound with his breath – I was not sure if it was an exhale or deep inhale. Seconds later, that was me done.
Off I went back upstairs to wait for my husband. As time passed, I started feeling better and better. The tense negative energy had lifted, and I was feeling lighter and calmer. Simon finished his class and came out. In our 15-minute break, I told him about the awesome experience I had just had and recommended it to him.
Then, we were off to the flexibility class. My calves, thighs and body all felt better for it. It was much needed and reminded me that I really ought to include more yoga practice in my life.
After another break, we went to learn more about breathing. I had no idea what to expect. We got to look silly. We made funny noises. We laughed. In all seriousness, we got to bring fresh air to the lower parts of the lungs that often don’t get enough. I’ve heard of that before and I’ve been doing an exercise with that in mind. This class opened up my eyes to the huge variety of breathing exercises you can do.
Three hours after walking in all worked up and tense, I walked out of the Lodge.space feeling ever so Zen – peaceful, light and rejuvenated. I was ready to take on the world again.
Our mind affects our body and how we perform, and our body can affect the way our mind operates and our emotions.
We don’t need to take days or weeks of holiday to reset the batteries, to lift all the pressure from ourselves and feel energised again.
Over to you
What or who drains your energy and what are your top tips to get back to your happy and energetic self?
I’d love to know – comment below and I’ll personally respond.
If this article has given you some interesting food for thought and you don’t want to miss the next one – sign up below to get the next one delivered straight to your inbox.
You’ll receive a special welcome present – 10 Proven Ways to Successful Life Balance’ to help you create even more space for what’s important to you. Click on the ‘I want in’ button to get on board. See you on the other side!
P.S. Sharing is caring. Who do you know that would benefit from reading this article?
P.P.S. This article is not written in association with the Lodge.space, Darryl Kempster or other therapists. I’m simply giving credit where it’s due. 🙂
Photo Credit: Anja Konter