"We're doing a 5K fun run in September."
"You heard me. A Fun Run."
I shake my head in disbelief. "That's what I thought you said. But you've always considered the words "Fun Run" to be an oxymoron."
"Well – we're going to the gym. We're going to the slimming class. We need a goal. A Fun Run in September is a good goal. It's realistic and achievable. It meets all the SMART criteria for goals."
"But Emma!" My voice tails off. I can tell when it's useless to argue.
You remember Emma, don't you? You met her last week. She runs my brain. She's the management. And, like many management professionals I've worked with (and indeed, have been myself) she comes up with some really challenging ideas.
So, a fun run it is. Me – who can barely run for thirty seconds without my heart rate becoming alarmingly high. Me – who will never run for a bus on the principle that, if there's one bus already, then there's bound to be two more closely following.
I really don't recognise myself.
Of course Trevor (who believes in polar bears) doesn't like it – but this is not about him.
This is about Emma – who's terribly sweet and well-meaning but who gets carried away. I've had to take her on one side and just ask her a few questions. Well, one question really.
"Um - Emma?"
"Yes?" She looks up from the gym schedule she's studying.
"Am I on a "high" here with the bi-polar thing?"
There's a long pause. The pause gets longer and starts to feel uncomfortable.
"Ah, that's all the answer I need then, isn't it?"
Emma puts down the gym schedule. She doesn't put it away, but she puts it down. She reaches for the "Managing Mary's Highs" document. Good job we created this last time it happened, eh?
I hate to admit it – but the best way to avoid the downs becoming totally incapacitating is to manage the highs.
I need a lot more sleep than I've been giving myself. I need to cut the alcohol completely. I need to cut down on the number of commitments and goals I've set myself. I'll let you know more about this next week.
The fun run is still, tentatively, in the calendar. But Emma's a bit more controlled about it now.
It feels mean, reining her in like this. But it's for the best. We both know it's for the best.
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