Posts Tagged ‘mushroom’

Week 15 – Conflict

September 4, 2008

This week:
Weight:still at about 76kg! (target: 73kg); Miles run in the last seven days: a hefty 37.23! (59.9159 km)
Total funds raised up a bit: £257.56 (including Gift Aid) Only £742.44 to go. Sponsor me at my Justgiving page by clicking here.
Days to go to the New York Marathon: 59 (oh lordy! Less than two months!).

Firstly, my apologies for the last blog which I think was a bit boring. The picture of the mushroom got the most positive feedback so I think that says it all. I think I was too happy and relaxed after my holiday trip to Cornwall (Kernow) to write the edgy, “out there” blog posts you are used to. Because, as we all know, there is no drama without conflict. Which is why Mr Men books are so dull. (Except Mr Nosey, who is taught the lesson of minding his own business by being smashed in the face with a hammer by his friends and neighbours while they stand around pointing and laughing at him(?)! This is how I think it happened:
Roger Hargreaves (Mr Men author) [talking into telephone]: Hello, this is Roger Hargreaves, author of the Mr Men Books. Is that Mr Puffin, my publisher? How are sales of my Mr Men books going?
Mr Puffin the Publisher [talking into his telephone]: Hello, Roger. Yes it’s Jim Puffin, publisher, here. To answer your question, sales of your Mr Men books are OK. But they’re not as good as Dr Seuss’s. Did you know his Green Eggs and Ham is the third biggest selling book in the English language ever? And it only uses 50 words! But what it has is conflict, Roger. Dramatic conflict. Sam-I-Am wants the other bloke to eat Green Eggs & Ham, and he doesn’t want to. Do you see? Conflict. And that’s got the reader hooked so that he (or she) wants to know if (and how) that conflict is resolved.  Does Sam-I-Am persuade the other bloke to eat the green eggs and ham? If so, how? Does he like it? Why are they green? Do you see, Roger, the conflict creates drama and interest. So, what we’re thinking here at the publishing house is that maybe Mr Messy getting his house cleaned by Mr Neat & Mr Tidy doesn’t quite have the same level of dramatic conflict that can hook the reader. And that perhaps, Roger, you could make the next one a bit more edgy. Throw in some conflict. What do you think, Roger?
Roger Hargreaves: Hmmm. Conflict, eh? Dr Seuss, eh? Think you know more about writing children’s books than I do, eh? Well why don’t you just mind your own business (publishing) and I’ll mind mine (writing children’s books)! You want conflict? I’ll give you conflict! [Slams down phone.]
And so, Mr Nosey was born!) (Or probably not.)
Anyway, I digress.

This week I have had some internal conflict because I am feeling quite unwell with headache, stomach cramps and, well lets just call it “bathroom unpleasantness”. So on my run this morning (5:49 am; 4.83 miles (7.77313 km); 50 minutes, 35.49 seconds, a disappointing 10.28 minute miles, and burned 595 calories – equivalent to approximately 1lb (453 g) of topically tasty Alaskan caribou meat) I was constantly in danger of puking or doing a “Paula in Athens 2004”. But the thought that I am behind on my training schedule kept me going. I had a terribly difficult “long” run on Sunday – running out of energy for the last four miles. And I am not doing the speedwork my schedule suggests I should. And I am back at work and the mornings are getting darker. And there is less than two months and I only have a quarter of the fundraising target and I have lost my blogging mojo and and and…. There goes that doubting voice in my head again… (Still not saying “Kill! Kill! Kill!”, you’ll be pleased to hear! but a clear example of some internal conflict none the less.)

So I have had a look back on some of the previous blogs (am I going all postmodern again?) and thought I would try to look at some of my achievements. And they are worth mentioning, I think (with thanks to all those who have supported and helped these achievements):

  • Weight is down 7kg in 14 weeks from 83kg to 76kg.
  • Weekly running mileage up almost 100% from 19 to 37.
  • Blog readership up nearly 900% from 3 to 26!
  • Funds raised up from £0.00 to £257.56.
  • The sport of Competitive Postmodernism™ invented
  • 8 haikus written
  • one picture of large mushroom uploaded.

Which makes me feel a bit better about it all again. And now *stop press* stop press* stop press* someone out there has created a link to my blog!!! It is from a New York blog called Brooklyn Running, which says:

“Here’s a blog entry from a guy in the UK (I think), who just spent some time in Cornwall, clocking down the time until New York (62 training days from today).
It features a photo of a mushroom (or is it a toadstool?) Nuf said.”

It then includes a quote from my Week 11 post about the wonder New York and of Balthazar restaurant. I feel so proud and excited – my reference and quote in another blog. Thank you, Brooklyn Runner. (And yes, I am in the UK.)

So all of this has made me feel a bit more positive about things again. Taking a pause and looking at what’s going well is a really useful thing to do. So my inner conflict, though not entirely resolved, is at least somewhat mitigated. And has hopefully made for a more interesting blog?

Thanks for reading. Please send a link to anyone you think might enjoy this and (really importantly) might sponsor me… This week’s haiku:

Drama needs conflict
Haikus need seventeen sounds
I need your money!