born to run

March 26, 2020

Both my parents are runners. My Mum was an amazing sprinter at school, and up until recently, my Dad ran marathons. They always won the Mum and Dad’s races at sports day which made my brother and I feel pretty chuffed. My dad used to go on long runs with our Great Dane, Magnus, it’s how he stayed fit and kept his stress levels down. He owns about thirty pairs of trainers, most of which he’s had for almost as many years. My brother is a runner, and for about five years I ran daily, also. I ran in blizzards, and in blazing heat. I ran tracks, riverbanks, mountain trails, parks, pavements and beaches. I ran. My only regret was that I didn’t run Marathons because I was surely in shape for them. I’ve never been fitter than I was in my running years. But as most runners know, it can take its toll in other ways. Running is intense and addictive. I was a new Mum, with two babies, and running was all I could do to manage the surge of emotional changes. With hindsight, I would have found more support in something gentler. But we learn what works for us by living through what doesn’t. When I was pregnant with Luma everything in me knew I had to replace running with something more nourishing, kind and sustainable. Swimming, and more recently, yoga, are a form of salve for the body and mind. In many ways, they are the antidote to years of running. And yet, there is still a part of me that misses it. The adrenaline, and the feeling of flight. Recently, I’ve felt a visceral urge to run. Maybe it’s Spring’s awakening, maybe it’s that we’re spending so much time at home, but I see runners from my window and I want to join them. I know I can’t run with the intensity that I once did –– I no longer want to –– but a once-weekly jog, or a sprint to the park and back, may be enough to satisfy the urge. The irony is that I no longer own a decent pair of runners. Unlike my Dad, I chucked all mine when I was done.

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