For anyone who’s been wondering where I’ve been for the last three weeks, as previously mentioned, on the 9th of March I completed my double whammy challenge of not only running the half marathon, but also performing my second stand-up comedy gig.
As you can probably imagine the last few weeks have been intense. Not only was I training for the run physically and preparing for it mentally, I was also re-writing my stand-up set and also rehearsing it too.
I entered the Adidas Silverstone Half Marathon and I’m pleased to say that I ran all the way without stopping or walking in 2h40m. I was running at a pace to complete it much faster than that but when I got to the 10mile mark I was utterley exhausted and I had to drop my pace considerably to make sure I finished. It was more than double the distance I’d ever run in my life! Last year I ran the 10K Great Capital race and after I had done it I didn’t continue with the running. I started running again approximately 8 weeks ago and I got back into it quite quickly as I mentioned in one of my previous articles.
This time I decided to raise money for a charity called Children Walking Tall and have thus far raised approximately Â£400. I was elated with myself that I did it but for me the challenges will not stop there! I’m already looking into doing another in October in preparation for the full marathon next year.
This was of course…just my pre dinner time challenge…my day didn’t stop there! Oh no! 😆
Next was the Humili-Asian comedy gig as a follow on from the one we did in December last year.
Not a lot of people realise this, and to be honest, neither did I until recently, but the biggest challenge, was not the events themselves, but taking good care of my thoughts before and after both events. You’ll understand once I start explaining what happened.
About a week and a half before the big day, I found out that that half marathon started at noon. Without going into too much detail; it basically meant that I didn’t have much time in between both challenges to rest, eat, recuperate etc. So it was there that my next challenge began; trying to not let the worry of time get the better of me! Of course, at the same time I was still training, preparing myself mentally, studying human anatomy, finding out how best to keep myself fit, energised, healthy and injury free during the run.
I wanted to improve on my stand-up routine from the last time so I began the process of adding, deleting, re-writing and polishing off the routine. This took as much time as the my first attempt of comedy set writing. Even though I had previously memorised my routine, I had now forgotten 90% of it and so I had to begin the process all over again of imprinting it into my brain. It was quite funny as during this process I noticed that I couldn’t help let slip some bits of my old routine, which I also ended up doing on the night; although I don’t think anyone noticed. I certainly did though!
During this whole time I could feel the onset of stress and anxiety. As the clocked ticked and the days passed; it steadily increased! I was nervous because I wasn’t sure if I was ready or fit enough to run the half marathon. I was nervous and scared because I did quite well at my first stand up gig and I wasn’t sure that I could repeat that performance! Loads of little niggly thoughts started to peck away at the back of my mind!
I realised then that my mind was clouding with all these random thoughts and that was resulting in me feeling quite, heavy, depressed and nervous. It didn’t have to be that way; that only came from where I was choosing to focus my thoughts. Many people feel that where there thoughts flow from and to is not really through choice and that is true right now; it’s conditioning! To change you have to choose to change. If you want to shift your thought patterns then it begins with the decision and then the conditioning comes later. It’s like a smoker that successfully gives up smoking; they have to decide that they want to give up smoking first and then after that they find a way. I gave up coffee by changing my thinking; it began with my choice or my decision to make a change. It is the greatest power by far that we humans possess.
To achieve that kind of mental clarity and balance is not easy but it is essential if you want the repeated results you’ve been getting in your life to change. Without doing so you will find yourself having moods and getting very easily upset or depressed.
Sunday arrived and I was still not quite 100% prepared for the day. I didn’t feel nervous about the run and all through the race I felt relatively relaxed and calm and even though I did struggle, I knew that I would be able to finish the race running. During the run though I was still heavily focused on my stand-up set because I felt like I wasn’t quite ready. I felt like my material wasn’t quite up to scratch and that I wasn’t quite ready to perform.
When the time for me to perform arrived it was the thoughts of self doubt that kept me from being at my best. Even though I got plenty of laughs I knew that it wasn’t quite as good as it could have been and that came down to one factor and one factor only; taking care of my thinking before, during and after the event! I did well and even though I was faced with a few surprises I handled then all well. Experience has taught me though that having mental clarity and flow will always lead to much more fruitful results. If you want to be at your best during something, you have to be at your best before it too.
If you find that your thoughts are like a runaway train learn to apply the brakes and change your focus. If you feel like you’re experiencing worry it’s because you’re focused on results you do not wish to occur. If you’re stressed it’s because your thoughts are tuning into the worst case scenarios. It’s a that moment you need to set your personal wake up clock and say to yourself: “snap out of it *insert name here*!” 😆 And that’s when you have the opportunity, if you choose to, to change your thinking. You can now focus on what you want to occur, what result you would like or even things like what you could do better or remembering the reason why you’re there in the first place! The choice is yours!