Lessons from Laeken

Yesterday I did somethingreally tough…


I decided a while ago to do a 10km run. Like many people I had great ambitions for training but we all know how it is pre-Christmas with two kids and busy jobs… sometimes those training runs did not happen. But when I did go out I felt great – running along the Anderlecht… all nice and flat…. I even managed 10km a couple of weeks ago in a training run.


So off I went to Laeken… the foot of the Atomium, on a beautiful sunny Sunday morning…


The first issue to deal with was my iPod which packed in… so no music to motivate me. Ok this will be fine – I will enjoy the peace!


Secondly, my potential running companion made the wise decision to run the 5km instead of the 10km…. but I was too late and already signed up. Ok this will be fine – I will set my pace and have a nice steady run!


But then the big shock came after we had all started off… HILLS! Laeken is hilly and me and my legs were not trained for hills…. Arrghh!!!




At the starting line!

At the starting line!

The run was two laps of the same course – 5km per lap….


Lap One

The demons came out! No music to distract them they chattered away non-stop. This is hard, I should have done the 5km. I’m going to stop after lap one. What do you think you are doing? You’ll be lucky if you get around once! Look at all these people going so much faster… and so on… you get the picture ;-)


As I came to the end of the lap though who did I see but my partner and two boys shouting“come on mummy”…. A little further on my friend with a group of women shouting encouragement…


Lap Two

I no longer had an opt out clause. I had started and I was going to finish. I looked around me and enjoyed the sun and the trees. I gave some words of encouragement to people I passed or who passed me… I told my demons to ‘shut up’ – I clapped along to the music that some small bands were playing along the route, I stopped to do high fives with the kids on the side of the path… I just decided to smile a bit more and take it a step at a time…


I did it… I finished! Not any personal best time but who cares?

Crossing the finishing line

Crossing the finishing line


For me the journey was another one…. Maybe 3 big things:


1) Life is rarely flat – there are many hills along the way… we feel that all is going well and then turn a corner to see a big one to get over. 


2) Our family and friends are there to help us out and encourage us, as we are there to do the same for them.


3) Our minds are so powerful in choosing to react in a certain way… let the demons prevail and we feel like we are the person most hard off in the world ;-) Choose to smile, choose to be present, choose to enjoy and a big shift happens.

Thanks legs!

Thanks legs!

As we come to the end of the year, it’s often good to look back a little – has it been a hilly one for you? How did you get through?

But looking forward I continue to remind myself to bring far more of Lap Two to my life… it just feels so much better!!

Wishing you all the very best greetings of the season and until next year!