It’s a rainy Sunday afternoon in Melbourne and, being in a reflective mood, I’m resorting to one of my first true loves. Writing.
When I was a kid, I loved penning short stories about somewhat dubious subject matter. People disappearing or being attacked by strange creatures. A gang of teenagers solving the great mysteries of the neighbourhood. And other such scintillating reads. I was (and still am) an introvert who could entertain myself for hours on end.
Running, on the other hand, definitely was NOT one of my first true loves. Despite being a sporty “type” and an above average tennis player, running was not a natural gift of mine. I’m sure my dad entertained the idea of me being an elite runner and we persevered with “little athletics” for some time. But eventually he gave up hope, and I went on to dip my toe in lots of different things as teenagers do – tennis, netball, studies, piano.
It wasn’t until much later in life in my (ahem….) late 30’s that running found me in the most unlikely of places. I was living in the beautiful seaside town of Hervey Bay on the Fraser Coast of Queensland and had just had my heart broken (for the 43rd time) in the most unceremonious of ways. I had some anger to dispense with, so I joined a local fitness group called Beachfit. What a life-changing decision that turned out to be. I was bitten by the running bug and have been infected ever since.
To spare you from a long and boring story, here are some of the simple reasons why I think running is pretty awesome:
- You can run anywhere, at any time (well, if you don’t mind running in rain/snow/dark…)
- Fresh air works wonders for your mental health
- It helps you to stay in the moment
- You don’t need a big expensive kit
- There’s a world of new running buddies out there
- The sense of achievement from finishing a race is the ultimate high
- Travel possibilities are endless (Big Five Marathon in South Africa, anyone…..?)
- You generally feel happier & less stressed
- There’s a load of other health benefits that your doctor can fill you in on 😉
- It’s a great way to see the sights when you’re travelling
- The sense of community from running clubs gives you the warm fuzzies
- You can have the odd donut and not feel guilty!
I could go on, but I’m probably preaching to the converted.
If you’re still with me, thanks for reading to the end and indulging my reflections on this wet and wild Sunday afternoon. I hope you like the photo of my dear friend Leni jumping for joy before the start of her first marathon (that’s right – BEFORE her big run!). It’s one of my favourite running shots that perfectly conveys the nervous elation you feel when the moment finally arrives. Enjoy your next run and let’s tread lightly!