Initially I started running to lose weight. I was tiny; I felt huge. I would count every calorie totting up on the treadmill. I would count every calorie as it enyereed my body. But gradually I began to realise that running was something I was really good at. That my body needed fuel to sustain speed, that I would have to eat if I wanted to get better at the sport. I have never been into team sports- I’m not competitive in that way, plus I don’t like being shouted at. But running, for me, became more than a source of exercise: it became a space in which I could just be, without constraints. I went from the treadmill to running outside, flying through the marshes, or past Epping Forest, or Snaresbrook crown court. I began to enjoy the feeling of wind or rain or sun on my cheeks. I let go of my paranoia about being. seen by other people or laughed at, and realised that, since I was doing something I liked and was good at, what other people thought of me was really none of my concern.
Fast forward to an ankle injury. I have decided to run theHackney half marathon in May, to test myself. My time won’t be nearly as good as it was a few years ago. But perhaps that isn’t the point…maybe, for me, a personal best really means doing the best I can at any given time. Cheesy as it sounds, maybe finishing this will be rewarding in itself.
i hope so.