Tag Archives: sharing

Being Brave

11 Oct

I’m now three quarters of the way through the online writing course that I started a couple of month ago.

The course has been very interesting and I feel like I have learnt practical things that have helped me to improve my writing. When I have finished the course I will be make the decide if I should go back to re-writing the book that I drafted earlier this year or put together a book of short stories from the material that I have written during the course.

The short story book option seems to me to be the easier option. I am still daunted by revisiting the book and, after reading it through again recently, I know that it is going to take a lot of work and revisions to get the book into good shape.

In the meantime, I thought I would be brave and share with you a short piece that I wrote on the course. We were given a 750 word limit for this exercise which isn’t a lot of words at all. I would like to add to this to make a longer piece. I haven’t shared anything that I am proud to have written since my teacher in junior school read out a short story that I wrote for homework. So this is a big thing for me.

I would be happy to hear feedback (positive or negative). Positive comments will inspire me to finally get stuck into that book and negative ones might help me to improve.

Broken Promises

You’ve done it again. You promised yourself a thousand times that today would be different. Today was the day that you would spring out of bed half an hour earlier than normal. A tightly bound coil ready to jump into life with raw enthusiasm. The snooze button is an invention for the lazy, so naturally, you stayed in bed longer.

Like your own motivational coach, you tell yourself that this is not the end of the world. The amount of calories you burn isn’t affected by how early you burn them. You will go running. Just a little later than planned.

That motivational speech was over two hours ago. In that time you’ve been lying on the sofa, scrolling through countless social media feeds, feigning an interest in photos of strangers’ breakfasts and the political scandals of a country that you would be hard-pressed to pinpoint on a map. You don’t admit it but you are wasting time, putting off the inevitable. The inevitable shortness of breath, muscle fatigue and embarrassment; more than anything you dread bumping into a neighbour, who is walking their dog, your face glowing red like the hot embers of a bonfire.

Your guilt begins to snatch at your brain, like a violin string being aggressively plucked. You reach out to put your phone on the coffee table. You exhale loudly. Now. Now is the right time.

You stuff your body uncomfortably into your sports clothing. The clothing promises that its technologically-advanced material will evaporate sweat from the skin more quickly. You felt like a professional athlete when you bought it. The purchase was meant to be a watershed moment. A moment that marked the beginning of a slimmer, healthier you.

Six months on and you have worn it only a handful of times. You now weight more. Your lack of a flat stomach is an accumulation of one poor excuse laid gently on top of another. One more slice of chocolate cake. One last beer before you leave the party. One skipped workout that soon snowballs into a fortnight of skipped workouts.

The watch fits perfectly. The watch measures your heart rate, speed, steps, calories and cadence. Your exhausted limbs and burning lungs will tell you how well or badly you have run but the watch will confirm it with downloadable data. Data that you will later pour-over, like a statistician analysing a world championship-winning performance.

The crisp, spring air brushes against your skin as you step outside. Your face feels like you have dived headfirst into icy cold water. Your lungs fill with freshness. You feel awake, alive.

You press the button on your watch. It vibrates noisily. Your personalised starting pistol. In your head, you repeat the words “left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot” over and over again. Concentrating on the words takes your mind off the physicality of the action. You wonder why it took you so long to gather up all your courage to get outside and run.

The slow repetition of the same simple action makes you feel free. You are free from all the negativity that has seeped into your life without you realising. Images of death and destruction on the news. Sharp comments from colleagues with the power to wound you. Your crippling feeling of self-doubt.

You forget that you have been resisting this from the second you woke up. The steady rhythmical beat of your feet caressing the tarmac has a musicality that only you can hear. The wind playfully whips your hair across your face. You smile to yourself as you float down the street, enjoying the moment, enjoying being free.

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