It’s week three – which I feel is similar to mile three of a long training run or a marathon. That time when you’re just beginning to warm up, settle down and try not to worry too much about the long road ahead.
One of the things I relish about having that long road ahead, is the focus it gives you. You know where you’re going – there are no diversions or things that catch your eye, demanding your attention elsewhere.
You have one task, and one only. Run forward on the route you’ve mapped out, or the course of the event.
As well as OCD, I have a total butterfly brain. I know lots of people do this as well, start one thing, flit off to another, get distracted by some thing outside your control. And the primary destination gets confused by attractive side roads or what can be dodgy dead-ends.
You don’t get that with running – it’s not just the road ahead that demands your attention. It’s the very process of repetitive action. You get into a rhythm – at its best almost like meditation – where you just focus on the task in hand. You understand fully your primary goal and you’re intent on completing it.
It is addictive. It is compulsive. And yes it can become obsessive. But in a good way – well for me at least.
What I get frustrated with, is when my mind does the same thing, but not on a road I want it to follow. It’s like last night – all night – it jumped on to its hamster wheel about one topic and went round and round and round, keeping me awake.
It can be quite tedious and tiring.
Strange really, because I guess to a lot of people, running can seem quite tedious and tiring.
But I’d swap my internal hamster wheel any day for the fresh air, freedom, space and sheer exhilaration of the open road ahead.
So, what was it that kept me awake all night? It was this, writing this blog. And bearing in mind that I’m currently writing this at 8am on Tuesday 18th June – with a full six days before my weekly publishing deadline – it hardly ranks as one of my priorities of the day.
But here I am, the butterfly diverted by the scent of this particular flower. At least it means I’m well ahead, in total contrast to last week. And hopefully I can get off that hamster wheel now and focus on Some Thing Else.
I’m still going to wait until Monday 24th to post it. I can’t get ahead of myself totally and squeeze too many “miles” in at the start, I’d never last the pace – and nor would you!
A final PS (writing at 7.30pm on the 24th): It’s been a really interesting week, learning more about my OCD and how to control it. I had a great weekend – one of those special “jam jar” times, which you bottle in your head to savour for always. And I’ve clocked up a few running miles as well. But more of all that next Monday. So long till then.