The following is probably going to be approximately a thousand words on how running saved me life.
It’s an absolute brain dump that I generated whilst running today and I’m writing it down before my heart rate returns to normal and all the thoughts I generated whilst trying to not die on my 5km fly out of my head.
I used to be super anxious. Spent eighteen months of my life inside a bubble of anxiety meeting disordered eating meeting celibacy. It wasn’t fun.
Anyway, I’ve battled 99% of that bubble. I gained three stone and don’t weigh my blueberries anymore. I blew my celibacy after a year, literally. Blew it. And I can finally leave my house alone and don’t winch when my phone rings. But the one anxiety that lingers is exercise. I’m always one ‘good’ run from teetering back into the grips of obsession and I don’t find it easy to balance. Which is why sometimes I’m really on it and sometimes I don’t exercise for weeks. I used to think I was flakey but actually it’s just a fear of being consumed by calculating calories burned based on time and heart rate. And that shit is tiring.
Except, running saved my life. And it still does.
It saved my life back in 2011 when my marriage ended and I realised I was fat and depressed. I read on the internet that running was good for weight loss so I started running. I lost loads of weight and discovered that I really quite liked the 30 minutes away from my kids four times a week.
It saved my life again in 2016 when I had forced myself out of the gym because I was skeletal and hungry and I ran 30 races in 11 months and ate all the pizza. Running makes me hungry so I literally ate myself out of an eating disorder.
However. Sometimes I don’t run. For some of but not limited to the following reasons;
- I don’t think I’m a good runner
- I’m not a fast runner
- What’s the point when I’ll never be either of the above?
- I’ve too much else to do
- I don’t like running (I do)
I’ve flaked out on more runs with friends that I can remember. I can talk myself out of a run before I’ve even decided to go for one. It’s quite a skill let me tell you.
But today, I just decided I was going to run and I did. There’s a mile loop about a hundred Meters from my front door and I sometimes run it just to see what’s in the tank. I like mile repeats, mostly because I can break them into sections and try to go faster each time and I’m only ever two minutes from my house.
So today I ran three miles literally in a circle listening to James Arthur on repeat and remembered that running is the one of the reasons why I’m the person I am today.
It’s such a weird thing running because I start, I feel shit, I have a conversion with myself for a while, and then I stop. And I can’t ever remember what myself and I talk about but I always feel better after.
And right now, it’s either running or gin so running it is.
Plus, I’ve got a 15 mile race in 7 weeks and my running partner wants a podium apparently so I need to tap into my second biggest skill (the first being avoiding running) – getting ridiculously fit in 6 short weeks.
So running saved my life. Which means I’m here to write this.