Tag Archives: not giving up

Overcoming Doubt : Not Giving Up

Running bore alert!

After Dad’s death in 2012, my body reacted in a profoundly painful way. The doctors diagnosed some kind of arthritis and told me I had to stop running. Like most stupid men I ignored the advice and tried to carry on. The subsequent pain, akin to having a hot knife wiggled around under your kneecaps, forced my hand, and I stopped. I convinced myself I’d never run again.

Over time, the pain abated, I stopped taking prescribed pain relief, and since introducing regular walks at the start of 2015, I’ve slowly felt stronger, and simultaneously tried to accept that these walks take the place of the more vigorous activity which I previously enjoyed. My Fitbit slave ring joyfully announced that I’ve walked over 4,000 miles since the beginning of 2015. I enjoy my walks very much. Somedays walking helps me think, others days I just empty my head and stroll, and sometimes I look for the beauty in the every day things I encounter. There is much to enjoy in walking, and yet as my 51 year old girth continues its slow expansion, I feel I need to do more.

This month, I snuck back into running courtesy of a borrowed pair of Carole’s running shoes. I’m assured that off road is gentler on the knees, so I’ve been running at Roundshaw Downs, an up and down grass course. After finishing the first week I could barely move – no arthritic pain, but instead, a profusion of muscle aches the like of which I’d not previously experienced. Since then, I’m remembering to stretch out the tightness immediately after a run, and I feel much better as a result.

I’ve now completed three parkruns and taken just over two and a half minutes off my times since I started.

Whoop de doo and all that. This is all very well, but what really struck me today as I pushed (puffed!) for the finish line, is the realisation that I’m here, doing it. I’m running again. I had written off the prospect of putting on running shoes ever again, and I was wrong. I could now spend time worrying about how much sooner this return may have occurred had I not been so full of doubt, but instead, I’ll give thanks to the volunteers at Parkrun who make the weekly events possible, and I’ll remember not to be so quick and certain to write myself off in future.

The Free Art Project. Week 50 : Not Giving Up.

In the next few days, the We Are All Artists free art project turns 50. The next art drop will be the 50th consecutive week I have made and given away art in our neighbourhood. The project continues to provide surprises, enjoyment and learning in so many ways, thank you to everyone who supports it.

This 50th milestone is being noted with a special collaboration, featuring the singer and guitarist, Chloe Ray. Chloe releases a new EP on March 17th, and we have agreed to make a double art drop together. One of the tracks on Chloe’s new EP is titled ‘Not Giving Up’, which as well as being a great song title, is coincidentally a really neat way to mark 50 weeks and going strong on the free art project.

I’m going to paint ‘Not Giving Up’, and the painting, and a copy of Chloe’s new EP will be hidden together for someone to find, somewhere in the local community next weekend.

Chloe and I would like to ask you for some inspiration and help with the painting please. When you see and hear the words, ‘Not Giving Up’, what imagery comes to mind? Please message me your thoughts and ideas and I hope to use some of them in the artwork which I’ll be making this week.

Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 12.33.29.png