Becoming Fearless And Unstoppable And The Pursuit Of Serenity
Back in August I was running through Kilburn in West London when a drunken man began berating me for the way I ran. He was sitting outside a pub drinking on his own and since I run at almost a snail’s pace he was able to get in a good bit of abuse before I was finally out of earshot (could still hear him about 5 minutes later, by this point even I was laughing).
I dunno what his motives were. Perhaps he was bored. Perhaps he just wanted to talk. At first, I wanted to respond and tell him to fuck off but I thought better of it and did my “sad but determined ghost running through glass” act. No-one and nothing could get to me. I had to perfect that act on the A68 in LEJOG when cars were hurtling at me over blind stretches of road and I was repeatedly losing my cool.
Whenever someone shouts something, I can only control my response. Getting angry is pointless. I don’t go running to pick fights anymore. I don’t even get annoyed by dogs that much unless the owner is a spectacularly doss cunt who just lets it run at people.
Part of the reason I’ve had so much trouble updating this blog is that I’m not that angry anymore and I don’t want to be angry.
I don’t run to impress anyone and I am not even training for any races in particular. I’m maintaining this run streak for my mental health. I have to do this. I can’t let anyone dishearten me. So whenever someone tries to start something my first thought is “should I care what this person thinks, do I want to be their friend or do I just want them to fuck off? What is the best and quickest way to get them to fuck off?”
The best way is to ignore them and to carry on.
They can have their fun. Anything they shout is not about me. It’s about them and I am not them and I don’t wanna be them. When the abuse arises I slow down and lap it up. It is harmless unless I let it inside.
My only obstacle is me and my responses to the circus inside my brain. There’s nothing in the outside world I’m scared of. It’s all of the internal shit that I’m fearful. My biggest fear is being unable to sleep. That’s why I’ve spent so long struggling with Nytol and more so with booze. My addict brain will try to tempt me back into drinking by saying “have a bottle of wine, it will put you out” but it never fucking works. It heightens the anxiety and it’s self-reinforcing and I refuse to give into that shit for one night only. I’ve done that for almost 1,100 nights now and well fuck the zero.
That’s why I’m getting into mindfulness and meditation. I don’t want the booze, I want what I thought the booze was bringing me but wasn’t. Serenity.