Let go of all your ghosts

My heart rate is in the green, my cadence could be quickened but my pace is bang on. The Garmin is re-born.

I was a smoker, I loved every single cigarette that I had the pleasure of inhaling. I regret nothing. But I quit and I don’t miss it anymore because I have my other addiction, running. When my first child was born I was already smoking outside of the house only, a rule brought in by having a new carpet fitted at a previous house and carried on into our present home, and this carried on until he was a toddler. One day pacing up and down the garden path enjoying the comforting rush of nicotine and the feel of the smoke I glanced upon two little eyes and one chubby nose pressed against the patio door. That questioning gaze slammed into me so hard that the next day I found myself sitting in the nurses office asking for help to stop smoking.
Funny thing was I didn’t smoke enough for the available help to work “sorry about that” followed by a helpful “you’ll have to smoke more for us to be able to help you”. Not what you’d expect really when you’ve made the decision to quit. A few months later NiQuitin released a new version of the replacement nicotine mints with reduced mg, perfect level for me. I sat at my dining table with a 3 pack of mints and sat my wife down, “no promises but I’m going to try” is all I said.

The way I managed to quit is this:Morning cigarette replaced by niquitin mint, smokes as per normal for rest of day.

Each cigarette was replaced by a niquitin mint in turn.

Then I replaced the morning niquitin mint with a polo mint/humbug, and each in turn until I had completely replaced all the NiQuitin mints with polos/humbugs.

Success I now had given up smoking but instead had a raging humbug/mint habit. Don’t do it kids, Mints are a bugger to wean yourself off.

I then went a little crazy and decided that at some point my boys were going to start running around and having a Dad that couldn’t run more than 100 meters was going to be embarrassing. Running shoes were purchased and early one morning, very early one morning I shocked the world by running to the bottom of my road, into the park and around the football field. It hurt, I nearly threw up several times I had to walk nearly all of it, but I came home and didn’t die. I did the same thing a few days later. And again, and again until I could run down my street and around the football field and home again without passing out.

I trained early to avoid embarrassment. I kept at it through all weathers, and in the end I got to the stage where I ran a local race, I didn’t come last. My reward was a new to me Garmin HRM watch and footpod from the Bay of E. I descended into running stats geeky heaven. For a whole year i compiled my running data and compared this and that just for the sheer heck of it because it was interesting – it had graphs! how could you not love a graph! then the battery died, life was busy, I lost my Father to Asbestosis and everything went into free fall, I didn’t run for a long time.

I never went back to the comforting arms of the smoke, and for that I’m glad. The worst part of my life so far and I didn’t buckle. I have given myself time, healed in part and lived on. I picked up some batteries in the store last week and fitted them back into the Garmin, it blinked into life, sent out its electronic waves and found the repowered footpod and HRM belt. I reset the time and date strapped on my shoes and hit the ground hard.

The defined path
The defined path

 

And as I rip through the woods the Augustines play;

YA GOTTA LET GO, LET GO OF ALL YOUR GHOSTS
YA GOTTA LET GO, OR MORE WILL COME AROUND

GO EASY ON YOURSELF
NOW YOU ARE FREE.

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