Sunday, 5 August 2012

Rising above self doubt

There are times when I really doubt myself, in all kinds of ways.

I doubt my abilities as a husband, a father and a friend.  I doubt myself as a manager within one of the Ministry of Justice's arms and the criminal justice system as a whole.

I occasionally question what contribution I am making to the world we live in.  I also sometimes wonder if "today" is my last day, will I have done something worthwhile and be able to face my ultimate judgement with my head up or slumped down.  The answer was, yet again, very clear this morning.  The answer must be a clear YES.

When I go for a run I am faced with a number of cross roads where I could go either left or right.  The way I go dictates the nature and length of the run.  At the end of our driveway is the first of those cross roads.  I had a choice of going for a short 3 or 4 mile run.  This seemed tempting as, with the business of family life, I have only run 3 miles in the last week.  Could I seriously run much further this morning?  Surely I must have put on some weight?  All that scrummy unhealthy picnic food we had yesterday.  Maybe a shorter run is sensible.

No.  No way.  I set off for my favourite 7.5 mile hilly run.  It was, after all, the perfect morning.  It was early and quiet outside and soft sun drying off the overnight dew.  It was, I admit, hard going for the first mile and I even felt my left knee protest a bit.  I've never had any problems with my left knee so I decided to ignore that potential excuse to return home.  After a mile I get to the first hill which, for a few yards, is 1:5 but gradually levels off.  I ran up with ease and felt good.

Then as the miles rolled away I found myself enjoying my surroundings, something I have blogged about many times before.  Once I had reached the half way stage I come out on to an escarpment which has a fantastic view stretching for miles and miles.  I felt really good, although I wasn't going too quickly, more marathon pace (probably 9 or 10 minute/mile).  Coming back through the houses I started to feel the benefits, reassured that I could do this, not an Olympic performance but a straight forward run that I have done so many times before.

The question I ought to have is not whether I can do anything in particular.  Instead a question of what more can I do?  Not so much whether I'm good enough to be a this or that.  I am already those things but how good can I be at those things?   There is so much to do and yes, these can be accomplished.

So there I am.  This morning's run has helped me rise above those feelings of self doubt which can all-too-easily creep in.  We can all be assured it is within our grasp to push ourselves further towards our potential, no matter what that is.


Running to save my career
Wow - I feel great
What is the runner's high?
Reasons to run

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