So I had my assessment at the Docs last Friday. Apparently I’ve definitely done something to my left leg. Aces. To make matters worse I got sat down by my Doctor and categorically told that I am NOT allowed to do any exercise for at least another SIX weeks.
Fuck fuck fuckity fuck fuck. (Sorry. There are no other words…)
In light of this extended exercise embargo it dawned on me over the weekend that I was going to have to abandon my Three Peaks plan. Bugger. I’ve not run since February 19th, I’ve missed Reading half marathon, and over the last few weeks my frustration has gradually reached cataclysmic levels. (That’s bad btw). This was yet another thing to strike off the ‘to-do’ list.
In light of this I’ve had to do something that pains me. Greatly. I’ve had to stick my hand up and profess my inability to cope with this situation. I’ve done my damnedest solo thus far, but my funk reached a state of funkiness that I couldn’t seem to shake, therefore I had to ask for help.
Minor note: This isn’t something that sits comfortably with me. I don’t do asking for help. I dislike showing the chinks in my armour. Truth be told I detest anything that makes me feel vulnerable. And lets not even go there with uncertainty.
Yesterday I came across something that made me think differently about being vulnerable. It’s a talk on TED by Brene Brown. She’s a qualitative researcher on this topic, and she sure knows her onions.
Me and vulnerability aren’t such a good match, therefore I’ve learnt over time to be damn good at pretending it’s not happening. AKA I mentally stick my fingers in my ears and go tra-la-la. Some people numb their vulnerability with food. Some with booze. My weapon of choice is the scotch eggs from my local in Peckham. Yes I know I’m weird. Regardless of what you use the feelings are simply masked, they are not dealt with.
Most days I think to myself, “Today I will mostly be wearing my *in charge* face.” I’m no different to many others in this respect. At work I manage people, agencies, my boss and a myriad of other relationships, I act the consumate professional in meetings, and generally work every hour under the sun. The common theme here is that we – the *vulnerability averse* – all perform, perfect and prove ourselves all day long. Up until now I’ve always believed that as long as we look, live, act and work as though we’re perfect, that we’ll be protected from criticism and blame.
I was really rather wrong.
What I’ve learnt is that vulnerability is not a weakness. Additionally the uncertainty we face every day is not optional. Regardless of whether it’s with our loved ones, families or careers. The only choice I need to make is how much I want to engage. Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage. Even if opening ourselves up to criticism, judgement or disappointment feels terrifying, the alternative is far worse.
So from now on I think I’ll be sucking it up and learning to live with a little vulnerability. I may cut down on the scotch eggs too…