How does a self-confessed commitment-phobe sign up to run a marathon? With absolutely no idea of what it entails.
It’s time to come clean. I am a commitment-phobe. It’s the primary reason I have never entered a marathon (okay, so there are some others. Like ITB, and the necessity of being able to breathe and run for a full 42km, but you know, nothing serious.)
Really, it’s the commitment that scares me silly.
I have witnessed friends, fellow runners, train for a marathon. And it’s not pretty. I couldn’t tell you the details of the training plans, because quite frankly I’m too scared to look into it. But I know it’s bad. There are runs that last 3 hours. For a training run! That’s just too awful to contemplate.
Not because of the running mind you. I don’t mind the running. Actually I like the running. It’s why I run. Somewhere in between the 3rd and the 4th kilometre I find my sense of humour. And then between the 6th and the 10th, I find my legs. (We shouldn’t talk about anything beyond the 14th, because you never can tell.)
Nope, the reason I have never run a marathon is because of the commitment factor. I would have to commit to finding 3 hours to run. Not just once, but multiple times. And possibly longer, too. (I told you I had no idea what it entails!) If I could insert the screaming Munch emoticon here, I would.
See, to a commitment phobe like myself, that’s beyond terrifying. Let me put it in perspective:
I was the child at school who would never commit to a sport. The only reason running stuck is because I could pick it up, or leave it, as I felt. No commitment to practice three times a week, no commitment to team mates, to teachers, to coaches.
Even today, in my somewhat mature state, I will seldom commit to a run in the morning. When the group WhatsApp message blinks through the night before, I tend to leave it where it lies. I wait until the morning of. See how I’m feeling. How the school run goes. How good the coffee smells at the coffee shop meeting place…
Fortunately, ‘active wear’ is acceptable these days. Or so I tell myself. So even if I half-heartedly commit to the run by putting on my shorts and shoes, I can still back out if need be.
Also, even though I run regularly, and am constantly wanting to improve my times and my pace, I will not progress to the point to getting a training plan. Even if it’s only on Strava, and only I can see it. Too much pressure.
You should see me buy shoes!
And that’s just running.
I’m a writer by trade. Freelance, unsurprisingly. This means I don’t have to commit to clients, to regular work hours, or even getting up and dressed in the morning. Client looking for a regular writer, willing to pay a retainer? Look elsewhere. Too much commitment for me.
I can barely choose a restaurant, let alone a meal off an a la carte menu.
When my other half and I fight, even after over ten years of wedded bliss, my first thought is “Maybe we should get a divorce. This clearly isn’t working.” To his credit, the husband barely even blinks when I voice this opinion; he’s heard it so often and knows it’s just the commitment-phobe in me looking for a way out.
(Although, let’s face it. Divorce. There’s a commitment. So he knows I’d never go there!)
So this is me. A self-confessed commitment-phobe, committing to a marathon. The deal is done, the fee is paid, the training plan has been downloaded. OK, well maybe five or six different training plans, which gives me some wriggle room in terms of not actually committing to any particular plan. None have yet been printed out or stuck on any wall.
I am officially running scared.