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RUN, COOK, WRITE

A hobby can teach you much more than a new skill. Three women talk about what different activities taught them about themselves

What running taught me about failureLisa Jackson

Don’t trip over a cat’s eye,’ were my husband’s final words to me at the start of South Africa’s 56-mile Comrades Marathon. Minutes later, after barely a mile, my foot came into contact with one of these little reflective road markers and I crashed to the ground, landing on my knees and left elbow. The pain was agonising: blood dripped off my arm, which had been twisted in my shoulder socket. Telling myself, ‘I’m fine, I’m fine’ until I believed it, I used my sports bra as a sling and pressed on, knowing that I wouldn’t make the 12-hour cut-off.

You may be forgiven for asking why I bothered to continue at all, knowing full well that no matter how far I ran (49 miles in the event), I’d be going home without a finishing time or a medal. The answer lies in one of the greatest gifts running has bestowed on me, and that is the certain knowledge that I’m not a quitter.

Every single one of the marathons I’ve run so far has put this to the test because I still find running incredibly difficult, and I’m still unbelievably slow. When I tripped in 2011 I had yet to come last – something I, like most tortoise-types, feared more than anything. But, a year later, inevitably it happened. I entered the South Downs Marathon, spent most of it in the company of the race sweeper who took down the mile markers the second I passed them, and finished last.

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Psychologies October 2016 - Be Successful And Happy
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