Tuesday, 18 July 2017

10 things running has shown me you might not expect

I haven't blogged in a while but recently I've been reflecting a lot on how running has changed me, my life and my outlook. I think sometimes people just concentrate on the fact that they don't want to have to exercise because all they see is the effort you have to put in, and believe me, that bit doesn't get any easier. So I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on my own journey and a few things that running showed me that people may not be thinking about when they're struggling to motivate themselves to start, and that in the end, make all the struggle and effort worth every ounce.


1. I left the house without make up for the first time since I was around 13 when I was told people don't wear make up to a Tough Mudder and didn't want to look weird.. and now I've learnt not to care so much and do so regularly. Running also encouraged me to wear shorts (because I didn't want to melt) and I have worn them for the first time since I was made to for sports class in school (my legs it turns out aren't quite as trunk like as I thought)

2. You just look happy when you smile with your teeth (not hideous) so grin and bare them :)

3. I am capable of being fully independent and can brave massive crowds of people at races by myself - while still smiling

4. I gained the confidence to meet new people for the first time in years

5. There's a big difference between needing to stop and wanting to stop (the former is rare), when I acknowledge that during runs and keep going I feel strong, capable and in control, and that's exactly what I am (even if I feel like a phoney saying it now)

6. I don't love what my body looks like - but I'm learning to love what I'm discovering it's capable of for the first time in my life - while still working on the first part :)

7. I'm 100% not competitive

8. I can overcome fear - and run full pelt ahead straight into & through it,
it does not have to control me

9. You can choose to make yourself happier - just go for a run and 99% of the time it works

10. I am not alone


That last one is a big thing for me. When we're struggling and feeling a bit lost in any part of our lives, at least for me, there is always a feeling that I am alone. Realising you're not and there's always someone there with you, maybe even running for the same reasons, is liberating. It makes it feel that it's OK to not feel OK, because you're one of many people just trying to get through something, through running. The running community is an amazing thing to be part of. No one cares what your job is, how much money you earn, what music you like or who your friends are. You are a runner and that's all that matters.

My favourite moments running to date has to have been when I have ran with people without any goals in mind but to run. Be a part of a group and soak in the atmosphere of a collection of people gathered together to all do something so inherently natural without any other goals at the end but to enjoy living in that moment and finish the run.

Running provides such an amazing clarity of mind that I've never achieved anywhere else, where I can forget my day, the problems in the world, the anxieties in my head and everything that makes me sad, just run and clear my mind of everything. 

My heart hammers in my chest, my feet hit the ground and my mind is calm.

A clarity that alone is worth every ounce of effort.

All the 10 above are just an incredible bonus.


Until next time - always remember, that sometimes, freedom is only a run away.