That extra baggage can get really heavy unless you let it go…

When runners talk about the Deloitte half marathon, I usually pipe up and say, “I officially came last in that race in 2010” because I did. No, I’m lying. I came second last. KK, who ran the race with me, came last.

Let it be known that the Deloitte 21km race holds some really bad memories for me. It was a race where my loving hubby decided to run with me, hoping that this would help me run quicker if he motivated me along the way. Wrong! We fought the whole way. I don’t think KK has ever felt more frustrated running at my pace (8mins/km when he usually runs at 5mins/km).

In fact, it’s an ugly memory that sticks in my head. After 2010, I made the promise never to run Deloitte half again and stick to the 10km race. But it’s amazing how those memories stay with you.

When we arrived at the race on Saturday, we parked at a different parking spot than normal (this already threw me off). I was niggly because I had not slept well the night before. The queue for the loo was longer than the 10km race itself so I started the race in a bit of a fowl mood. Even once my good running friend Craig aka @biggestbossfan caught up to me (in a sea of thousands, I still don’t know how he finds me!) I could still not shake the wave of negativity that overwhelmed me.

Bottom line: I didn’t want to be there. I kept having flashbacks of that awful 21km race.

It was at the 6km mark that Craig shot off, mumbling something about negative splits (all I heard was the word negative), and I was left on my own. As I started walking, the lead marathon runner came shooting past. Oh my! All around me, the other 10km runners were yelling and cheering him on. It was wonderful!

I suddenly realised that I needed to stop feeling so miserable and get on with it!

It’s the boost I needed. I finished my run. 82 minutes. Pffft! Whatever…

You know, in life, unless you deal with those ugly memories of your past, they will always be there, holding you back. You need to let it go and take what you can from the experience.

I did. From now on, when someone asks me about Deloitte, I’m going to reply with, “Yes, I’ve run Deloitte. The half marathon as well as two 10kms. What a challenging race!”

I’d much rather forget about those first days back at school, thanks.

I can still remember the smell of the pencil shavings. The smell of my school bag and freshly polished school shoes. I remember setting out all my school clothes the night before and the excitement of the first day of school. Yet, if I have to be totally honest, excitement is not exactly the word I’d use to describe my feelings of going back to school…

You see, the first day back at school was never pleasant for me. Not only was I a very shy, reserved child, but I have some pretty awful memories which make me shudder every time I think of them.

Three in particular that I recall…

The first was when all the Grade 2’s were waiting for their names to be called out by their new teachers. Someone insisted they heard my name, and so I excitedly followed my new teacher to my class only to find that my name was not on her list. I frantically raced back to the other children, but they had all left. I was stranded and had no clue where to go.

The second memory was Std 2 when the teachers were calling out the names of the kids for their new classes and instead of calling Bronwynne Loots (my maiden name), my teacher called Bronwynne Boots. Laughter ensued and I was mocked for many years to come by all the cruel boys (and girls).

My third memory is Std 3 when a good family friend who was in Std 5, dared me to run across the athletic field and if I did so, he would give me R5 (trust me, in 1985 this was a hell of a lot of money!) So I did. I ran and ran and ran! As I got halfway across the field, I heard the school bell ring for the start of class. But this didn’t stop me. Unfortunately, as I got to the other side and turned around, I saw that everyone was gone. GONE, including Roger and that when I finished my run and got to my class, I got detention. Roger still owes me R5!

Oh how I sometimes wish I could go back to school with what I know now! The first thing I would tell myself is that silly little events like these don’t matter. That in life, there are much bigger things to worry about. In fact, it’s the attitude and coping when things don’t go the right way that has made me the person I am today!

Good luck boys and girls!