Grit and finish

If you looked back over my Google searches from Monday, you’d find that I’d spent much of the day feeling sorry for myself. I searched for “causes of nosebleeds”, “itchy soles of feet” and “nutritional information cadburys twirl”. It wasn’t the most joyous of days. Except, obviously, for the discovery that there is an actual website called

I trudged forlornly to WeightWatchers, expecting the worst. Although I’ve kept exercising, my eating’s been diabolical and the Hen Weekend was an opportunity for calorific sins, both venial and mortal. I took every one of those opportunities. I’m up a pound, which isn’t as bad as it could be. Still. Over the course of the last 3 meetings, I’ve gained six and a half pounds. Not good enough.

If Project Connor had a Project Manager, it would probably be the lovely Cuneiform (I think he’s had other names in previous posts). He’s the one who got me running in the Phoenix Park. He’s the one who got me swimming.

I met Cuneiform late on Sunday and we revived an old tradition – the run along the beach in the moonlight. He was firm with me. He seems to have picked up on the fact that I’m not a finisher.

If you’ve known me for a long time, you know I don’t have a great track record with finishing stuff. My worst six months of secondary school were the last six months, where there was a genuine danger that I wouldn’t finish school. The same could be said of my Bachelor’s degree (to a greater extent) and of my Master’s (to a lesser extent). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve considered not finishing this PhD. My last great weightloss attempt was unfinished too. I may have lost 5 and a half stone. But I was still 5 stone overweight. But instead of keeping on losing weight, I put on eight stone. Eight stone. That’s over 100 pounds.

Since the start of Project Connor, I started the 100 push-ups programme three times and never got more than a third of the way through. I haven’t reached a single weightloss goal. I started a marathon that I didn’t finish.

I’m not a finisher.

But I will be now. I have some grit. I’ve been off cigarettes for well over 9 months. I’ve kept up the boxing for over six weeks and it’s changing my shape. It really is. But it ends with the undergraduate year in a few weeks.

So I’m going back to running. And I’m going to do it properly. And I’m going to run a 5K in May.

Quite a number of my friends on the Hen Weekend were looking slinky and skinny. The couch-to-5K programme was mentioned more than once. Then I got home, went running with Cuneiform and he too recommended the couch-to-5K. It seems the world is decided. I’m doing couch-to-5K.

Running is meant to be hard. I recently read the book “Run, Fat Bitch! Run!” which says running is hard. And it’s always hard. But hard is good for you.

According to the book, you need to motivate yourself by looking to your inner grit. The author recommends standing in front of the mirror naked and calling yourself a fat bitch. I have to admit that it’s something I’ve done before anyway.

The book claims that running will give me the body of Cameron Diaz, that if I run I’ll have the same glow that pregnant women have and that I’ll be able to wear a mini-skirt after I’m 30. Interesting claims.

But I like the idea of getting in touch with the gritty, tough, weatherbeaten side of Connor. I’m going to tap into Hard Connor. There won’t be any crybabies.

I did the first day of couch-to-5K today and it was good. I’m full of grit. I’ll be able to do 5K in 9 weeks time. I can’t wait to finish.

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