Pride & The Fall
On 10th October, I started Couch to 5k. I hadn’t really run for nearly 30 years, so even 60 seconds of running was a challenge.
On 8th November, an ankle injury stopped me from running again in 2022.
At the beginning of the year, I put on my vision board that I would run 5km by 1st March.
On Monday 27th February, I ran 5km. 5000 metres. Actually ran, 100% of it. It was the first 30 minute run of Couch to 5k, and I only had 300m left to reach my goal when Jo Whiley told me I could stop. I felt great so I kept going and I did it. I achieved my goal.
I hadn’t really made a big deal about starting running because I was pretty sure I would give up. But I did make a big deal of achieving that goal. I’ve never been very good at setting and hitting goals, so this was important for me in many ways. I’m a normal person. This is no rags to riches story. I’m just someone who had a go, committed, and bloody well did it. And it felt amazing.
The next day, I felt a bit peaky. My energy started to tank. My bones felt too big for my body. Wednesday morning, I woke drenched in sweat and I knew something wasn’t right so I did a test. Turns out I had caught my second bout of Covid-19. Bleurgh.
I’d gone from breezing my first ever 5k run to being unable to walk upstairs without feeling breathless, almost overnight. I was annoyed at myself (and the world) for putting myself at risk. I was disappointed I’d have to miss the Self Esteem gig I had been patiently waiting a year for, and cancel four reflexology clients, And I was frustrated that my health had taken such a sudden nosedive.
The irony made me smile though. And I got to thinking, “maybe I shouldn’t have celebrated my success quite so vociferously or been so eager to broadcast it.” And I decided I was wrong.
Success IS fleeting. Always. If you don’t celebrate your success as soon as it comes along, it WILL wane and you WILL be onto the next thing. That’s life. That’s how we progress as a human race. It’s vital that we take that moment to stop, enjoy our achievements, survey the scene and take the time to decide our next move.
And successes give us the most pleasure when they are connected to our greater sense of purpose. When we can link everything we do into giving our life meaning, the pride we feel when we achieve our goals provides us with a deep and longer-lasting sense of pride, happiness and satisfaction.
They say pride comes before a fall, and I felt the sting of that a little this week. But I’m fighting against that. We only say that because we notice the people who celebrate their victories. And we have a weird human quirk that then makes us look out for their fall.
Is my purpose to encourage you to run? No. Is it to encourage you to exercise? To be more physically healthy? No and no.
My purpose is to help you be the most awesome person you can be. Because the world needs people to be the most awesome people they can be. And the world changes when ordinary people do extraordinary things.
And ordinary people doing extraordinary things face adversity. We sometimes fall. In fact, you have to fall more times than you will rise. You have to accept more hearing “no” more than “yes”. Life IS rise and fall. It is ebb and flow. Pride comes before a fall. But a fall also comes before pride.