My addiction…..

to running (stay with me!) started when I was around 23 years old, although took a good 3 months or so to really ‘take hold’. The first organised run I took part in was a sponsored ‘Race for Life’ 5 kilometre event. I remember training for it. It felt brutal! I ran to one lamp post, walked to the next, ran to the next – cursing each and every one of them for being so far apart! I remember my mood at the time – foul. I was cursing under my breath – mutterings such as ‘I bloody hate running‘! After a few months of training, and much whinging, I could run the 5 km without stopping – it felt great and there was a big sense of achievement.

Me channelling Linda Carter after my first 5k

Some people stop there, but I wondered if I could go further. This coincided with my ex-boyfriend dumping me, which, at the time felt devastating, and made me upset and angry! I got this anger out on the run, and so sometimes I had to run a little further, as I just wasn’t done with feeling sorry for myself!

Fast forward almost a few decades, and I have run countless 10 km runs, half marathons, 4 marathons and a 50 km run. It’s become part of me, and I can’t imagine my life without running. It’s that important to me. I am, quite literally addicted to running. What running does for me:

  1. It clears my head and any negative emotion I might be feeling
  2. It fires up my creativity (at the moment I have to keep stopping to email myself an idea that seems brilliant at that moment…..yes, they’re must be a less caveman way of doing this – my kids would laugh!)
  3. It releases endorphins that get rid of stress
  4. It makes me feel strong and more confident
  5. It makes me feel alive, and free!
  6. It gets me out in nature and I love the fresh air
  7. It uses up a few calories, so I can eat cake and pretty much get away with it!

Here’s an interesting article about the mental benefits of running, which explains it all better than I can:

But enough about running, because I appreciate it’s not for everyone. The message behind this post is that I think it’s OK to have an addiction, as long as it’s a healthy one. If this habit, or whatever you want to call it, has a positive effect on you, and indirectly those around you, then you need to make time for it.

So I hope you can find your daily habit/addiction/’me time’ activity and use it to stay feeling good, positive and away from the bad stuff!

Just a few suggestions: any sport, reading, travelling, adventure, drawing, cooking, knitting, TV documentaries, TV series (maybe avoid series like Mad Men if you’re trying to stay off the booze! ps John Hamm recently went into rehab for alcohol addiction – just saying).

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