I've never been a runner, let alone a long distance runner. I used to be a sprinter in school, but the only distance I could run comfortably was 100m, but it was never fun, and that was 20 years ago! What if I can't even run 10 steps now?
I'm asthmatic, what if I can't breathe? What if I get cramp? Or stitch? Or jelly legs? What if I can't even walk, or if I trip and fall over? What if I'm so slow that there are other people walking faster than I'm running?
Oh... Other people will see me! What if there are loads of experienced runners? What if I run wrong? What if I run like Phoebe from Friends!?! Will they know I'm a newbie? They might be older than me but actually able to run... They will know I'm not a real runner, coz look at what I'm wearing... a dodgy old sweatpants and a baggy t-shirt, not proper running clothes... Will they scoff at my trainers because they're not proper running shoes?
In fact there will probably be loads of people around... Mumbai is crowded after all. What if they all stare at me? What if they whisper and point at me? What if they judge me?
It's meant to be hot today... What if I can't cope with the heat and I collapse? And even if I don't collapse, I'll go bright pink like I do whenever I work out! Then everyone will definitely laugh at me.
What if?... What if?... What if?...
- Well running might not be fun, but you'll never know if you don't try.
- If you can only run 10 steps, well that's 10 more than you did yesterday and you can try for 11 tomorrow.
- If you can't breathe, then walk. If you can't walk then sit and rest until you regain control over your jelly legs.
- If you trip and fall, then pick yourself up, dust yourself off and carry on!
- If you're slow, that's OK - you're new to this. Those guys are former speed walking champions! (and you'll soon be leaving them in your wake)
- If there are other runners around, they may briefly notice you. They may even say 'hi'. Some won't even notice you as they are too busy in their own little running world!
- You don't run like Phoebe! But if anyone notices your running form, it will just remind them to check their own.
- If they happen to realize that you are a newbie, their brain will transport them back to the time they were a newbie... Coz we humans tend to be a little self-absorbed.
- If you come across any older runners, then imagine yourself in the future... older, yet still prancing like a sprightly gazelle!
- If anyone even notices what you're wearing they'll probably just think 'nice colour', or 'oh.. I wonder what brand those shoes are', or 'hmmm... shall I buy a pair of track pants like those?'
- If you think there will be loads of people around then pick a quieter place or time to run.
- And if anyone looks at you, if they point and whisper they're just telling their friend that they envy you... You're doing something that they couldn't do, that they are too scared to do.
- If they judge you, their judgement is that you are one kick-ass chick /dude!
- If it's going to be hot then try to run early in the morning or just after sunset, and carry plenty of water to drink.
And if you go pink, then remember to wear a colour that compliments it! You don't want to clash...
Whatever your fears... Get over them and get moving. You'll soon realise that it was all in your head!
- What fears went through your mind as a newbie?
- What held you back?
- How did you overcome your fears?