At school, I hated sport, all types of sport. I wasn’t built for sport; I was always the chubby one! I would do all that I could to get out of it, especially anything that involved running. Cross country was pure torture to me, thankfully it only happened once a year but when it did I despised every second.
Running hurt, my shoulders hurt, I couldn’t breathe, my legs hurt, my arms hurt, my head hurt, my ankles were too weak to run, my excuses were endless.
When I turned 40, I realised that instead of moaning about the way I looked and felt and blaming everything other than me I decided to get off my backside and do something about it. I started losing weight, started cycling and loved every second of it.
My best friend suggested I join Park Run. I went to my first run full of enthusiasm and ready to kill it. I got ¼ way around the first lap and just gave up! I hid behind a tree for the rest of the race and headed home disgraced with myself!
3 months later, one evening I decided to try again, with no one around and feeling very self-conscious off I went, I got to the end of my road and wanted to die, so I walked for a while, then ran again, a further 500m I couldn’t breathe, so I walked again, then ran again. 3 miles later I was home. Red faced, sweaty and out of breath but I had not let it beat me.
From there I went out more and more, I ran further and further without having to walk. Before I knew it I was running the 3 miles I started at, without a break and loving every second.
Running has given me a peace I have never before experienced; it calms my mind and soul. For the time I am running I think of nothing other than running, if thoughts come into my head they go just as quickly. It is like my mind files everything into place whilst I run and by the time I have finished all of the filing is done without me realising.
Only 2 years later I have done a 10K race, a half marathon, completed a Park Run, joined a running club, I have entered a few races this year and also the Birmingham International Marathon, 26 miles!! I never thought I would hear myself say that I am a runner let alone hear myself say I am running a marathon.
It has changed me in so many ways, my fitness, my body, my mind and my outlook on everything. Hand on heart running has saved me and I cannot believe it took me 40 years to start.