Jealousy is useful…

…it's like a big green arrow pointing you to what's missing, or what's not quite right, or what you desire.

Recently I was spewing with envy at Gareth and his fancypants Etape du Tour training schedule. I've no desire to pedal over an Alp or four; I just liked the idea of having a schedule in an important looking PDF file!

Then I was jealous of his new Garmin bike computer thingo. He's never been a Gadget Man – he's always mocked my Wankerphone obsession – but he is quite taken with the Garmin. The graphs, the numbers, the maps. He plugged it in to his computer after a 40 mile ride and looked at the route map, and by pure accident he'd ridden in the shape of a Golden Retriever!

Arf! You need to use your imagination a wee bit… it's sitting in the grass, having a rest!

Then I had a truly sad case of Post-It envy. At the start of the Up & Running 5K course we suggest our runners put 24 Post-it notes on the wall, so they can riiiip one off after completing each workout. It's a great visual way to see your progress. People get really creative and colourful with their countdowns and it's one of my favourite parts of the Course. This time? Aww man. I want Post-Its.

Digging a little deeper, what was really going on there? Beyond the surface gadget and stationery envy, I was jealous of everyone's sense of purpose. I was feeling kinda lardy, left out, left behind.

So… action was required to bust out of this green fog! I talked to Julia and asked her if she'd mind sorting me out with a Proper Training Plan for the Bologna 6km race. She already coaches ten trillon people but she had room at the inn to boss around one more! So now I have a plan, a spreadsheet, and  very my own Post-It countdown:


I am LOVING tearing off those little suckers! There's a teeny tiny little thhhffft sound which is very satisfying. I've also rediscovered the Walkmeter app for my map fix… much cheaper than a Garmin. My routes look more like a little dog turds than big Golden Retrievers, but hey ho!

I admit, sometimes I find it freaking hard to keep my eyes on my own work. Comparing; contrasting. Especially when surrounded by so many people performing great feats of sportiness every day. Sometimes it's also hard to drown out that voice saying wow you used to be so much fitter, why'd you screw that up? But this new training plan is helping me focus on the here and now. Combined with the yoga, Pilates and TRX, I'm full of endorphins right now… much better for the soul than envy!

22 thoughts on “Jealousy is useful…

  1. I do so admire people who can work these gadgets into their lives but I am alas a humble luddite who can barely operate an ipod and who finds it difficult to even work a heart monitor! But I am glad you are more techno savvy.

  2. Hahahaha. That golden retriever just mightily cheered up the Balfour St household. Can you ask G for a boxing hare next?

  3. Love the post-its! Keep it up and you never know, your route may look less like dog turd and more like the dog’s bollocks! πŸ™‚

  4. Shauna,

    I am liking the jealousy as motivator idea. Actually I think every thing can be viewed as a motivator, when viewed through the required type of filter.

    Hope you can drown out the hey I used to be fitter…., thoughts with, Hey look at me I am still going…. πŸ™‚

    Big hugs
    A newbie blog reader

  5. Oh no – a fellow spreadsheet geek devoid of A Plan? Very glad to hear Julia got your sorted πŸ™‚ I am really liking the post-it idea. My current plan (very long term) has, um, 211 sessions between now and August, though. Buy post-it shares now, people.

    Gareth should definitely take requests. You can do the “can y’tell what it is yet?” as you have the accent. Or maybe we can get a game of Route Pictionary going. Sadly all mine look like roadkill.

    Long may your new-found purpose last!

  6. THANK-YOU! Good call. Whenever I get bitchy about otherwise nice people, it always take me ages to work out there is something going on inside me. (I justt avoided clicking on a link that said “bla bla successful pastry chef etc etc” but I am not yet that person. Crazy no?) Jealousy, sense of failure. Normally it takes someone else to point it out πŸ™‚ Today you are that person.

    Keep at the post-its.

  7. hey thanks for your comments!

    @JulieP – nice one! πŸ˜‰

    @Frances – so glad to have helped in a roundabout way… mwahaha

    @Katy you crack me up… he went on another ride yesterday and it was sadly lumpy and unremarkable!

  8. It does, it DOES look like a doggie.

    I get that ‘lack of purpose’ thing too. I think I’m just a naturally directionless individual that is destined to do a lot of daydreaming in between short bursts of achievement in random directions.

    I see nothing wrong with this. πŸ˜€

  9. I love that you are another who needs outside gadget, or competition to get your arse in gear! I am right there with you! Although I may protest till Nike Fuel comes to Canada to get up and move… Just kidding… maybe?? πŸ˜‰

    I need to get my butt in gear! Maybe I will become really jealous of your found motivation, and try and one up you and get off the computer and go for a ride…

  10. Oh, what a good idea! That’s probably exactly what I’m missing too…some visual way of seeing that I’m actually DOING WHAT I SAID I WOULD

    On the Garmin… ahyes, my hubby Dave love his. Even more addictive, get Gareth to check out if he hasn’t already – it’s a “facebook” for cyclists, you post your rides and can get ranked on sections against other cyclists doing the same ones – Dave credits this with kicking up his training enthusiasm!

  11. You’ve got the post-its…now you need a FOLDER with some DIVIDERS and coloured stickers and…

    This is why I get nothing done.

    I am going to get some stickers to put in my diary, to show me every time I’ve gone to the gym, thanks to this post πŸ™‚

  12. Yay, Shauna’s got her very own post-it-fest going on! Doo nae worry, we’ll give you a proper cheer on Bologna day! Enjoy your turds πŸ˜‰

  13. love the visuals with the post it notes.

    I remember another blogger who put stickers on her calendar, like a kindergartener, as each workout was complete.

    We don’t begin again, we start from where we are.

  14. I love the Post-It plan, thanks so much for mentioning and implementing it into your life. I’ve been using my brain to keep track of things and it’s getting very tired. =)

  15. I love your writing. It always hits the spot no matter the topic or mood. Bewdiful.

  16. Love your U&R pink post-its too and what a satisfying sound they make!! There’s nothing more motivating than a Proper Training Plan issued by the one and only Julia. The count down to Bologna is on! xx

  17. You should try spelling out words with your walking routes. Carry around a kazoo and it will be like you’re a marching band of one person πŸ™‚


    This site has many photos of his bike rides that were planned to form certain pictures on the map. For instance, Angry Birds, or a Pele bicycle kick.

    Hey, whatever gets you out on your bike!

    p.s. to Dr. G, would love to get a training update.
    ; )

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