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Rhonda Herrington Bulmer
Rhonda
Herrington
Bulmer
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October 31st, 2011
Something wicked this way comes
by Rhonda Herrington Bulmer

Last week, the long, slow distance requirement (tens and ones) was 8 kilometres. I really tried, but I could only manage 7.6. My huffing and puffing brought me so close and yet so far.

But I did it this morning.

On the treadmill…8.05 kilometres. Of course, it took me 72 minutes, but I did it without collapsing.

(Thank you, I am currently patting myself on the back.)

Afterward, while I was washing my hair and scraping my calloused feet, I pondered this concept of self-congratulation. I realized that I’m still not very good at it. I grew up with the concept that too many compliments make a person conceited, so they were rarely bestowed.

Not that I’m blaming anyone, but you know how it is.

And so, I’m pretty hard on myself most of the time. I assume a) I should be good at everything; and b) since I’m not, somehow I’ve let the whole world down.

When I was young, I rarely tried new things because I didn’t want to risk not doing something perfectly the first time—to make a mistake in front of people (and possibly look bad or endure laughter) was just too excruciating a thought to entertain.

And even today, I fight the notion that I shouldn’t try to do a 10 kilometre run because I couldn’t possibly keep up with the young’uns.

Ah, the ugly spectre of perfectionism. I thought I had exorcised her many years ago, but I recognize her rotten stink. In honor of Hallowe’en, perhaps I should drive a stake through her heart:

“Yes, thank you! Thank you so much! Yes, I realize running 8k is a great step forward for my physical health and not everyone tries it! It’s so kind of you to say so. Yes, I’m quite proud of myself.”

This week’s requirement: since the long run has already been completed, one 3 kilometre run, one 4 kilometre run, and four-400 metre hills.

Oh dear. The hills.

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