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Why I run backwards (sometimes)


I live right near our lovely man-made lake, Lake Burley Griffin. This 5.5km bridge to bridge is a popular route for many Canberrans, whether to run, walk or even the latest craze being to scoot.

As irritating as it is when you’ve got two or three people walking together across a lane on the bridge or when cyclists speed past you, the walk or run for me can be quite relaxing.

In case you’re wondering, if I’m walking, I’m podcasting; usually true crime. If I’m running, it’ll be some Smash Hits Cardio remix.

When I run around the lake bridge to bridge, I find that by the time I get to my street, I’ll sometimes have a stitch.

You know that feeling right? That discomfort under your rib can stop you from finishing the run.

It bites. And it bites because you’re so close to the finish line. You want to end the run on a high, with that feel good moment of having achieved a good workout so that when you arrive home, you feel fit and invigorated. And maybe you can even have that snickers bar…

What I’ve discovered though is that if I have a stitch and I run backwards, I can nonetheless still achieve this outcome.

If I start with the end in mind, identify what I’m trying to achieve and get done, and work backwards accordingly, then my every move in the lead up to will be geared towards helping me achieve it. Running backwards helps me to remove my stitch.

When I’m running backwards, I’m strategic in how far I push myself, how long I run backwards for, the distance that I negotiate in my mind that I’ll run to or for, looking over my shoulder at times for uneven pavements or cracks that could see me flying and fall over. I don’t need to give my neighbours anything else to laugh at me about–they probably think me a nutter running backwards is hilarious as it is!

But there is rhyme to my reason. There is logic to my method.

If you identify the outcome that you want to achieve after the formal aspects of your separation have been sorted, then you need to focus on the experience that needs to happen now in order for you to achieve the desired outcome and work towards it. By working backwards you’ll identify the steps you need to carry out to get there. 

So, if you find yourself separating, you’ve got to start with the end in mind.

  • What is it that you’re trying to get done?
  • What is it that you’re trying to achieve?
  • What do you need to achieve this?
  • Why is that outcome or achievement important?
  • For you to achieve that, what is the immediately preceding step that needs to be taken? What about the one before that one? And the one before that one?

I like giving examples of how this could play out and might be relevant to you, so here’s an example of how this exercise put into practice:

I’m separated. I have two children of primary school age. I’m concerned about ensuring that I can provide stability for the kids in terms of their home and ensuring that they spend time with their other parent.

I’m trying to tie up the formal aspects of our separation—that is make everything official, so they my partner, our children and I can achieve the very best outcomes for ourselves and go on to lead fulfilled lives.

For us to tie up the formal aspects of our separation, we need a financial separation agreement.

This is important to me because I need to have financial security and stability, and so that I can provide stability for the kids and financially support them.

 For me to get clear on what that financial security looks like, I need to be clear on my needs. I need to be clear on what a stable, suitable home looks like and costs.

For me to be clear on what a stable home looks like, I need to consider the number of bedrooms, the location, the number of bathrooms for my circumstances.  

I need to look at what that would cost to rent and what that would cost to buy and maintain a property 

For me to know this, I need to do some research. 

Hopefully you’re getting the gist?

If you start with the end in mind, you will have the ability to think rationally, logically, practically and adopt those ever so needed common sense principles to gsd (that is, get sh** done) when it comes to your separation or divorce.

So, I hope that by sharing with you my decision to run backwards to remove my stitch, you can relate.

Give it a go and let me know! 

The backwards running nutter,