I’ve just got back from a run. A giant strides, air in your lungs, music blasting type of run. The sort that makes you happy and hurt in equal measure.
I had zero motivation to go this morning. The weather is grey and drizzly, and not the sort of weather which typically inspires me to get outside. The only thing which got me tying up my trainers was knowing how much better I would feel when I got back. Not just from having moved my legs, but having nourished my mind too. Running helps me organise my thoughts and makes the world seem brighter.
I’ve never really been a gym goer. I don’t know how to use the equipment properly to get the best workout and end up muddling my way through, whilst being intimidated by the gym bods and their confidence. Dancing, aerobics and swimming are much more my style. I didn’t expect to become a runner, and even now waver when people ask if I am one. Yes, I run, but does that make me a runner? I’m a couch to 5k graduate, not quite in the leagues of the courageous folk striding through marathons and triathlons (my fabulous husband included) Having said that, one of Graham’s work colleagues introduced us to a brilliant quote: “Comparison is the thief of joy” (attributed to Theodore Roosevelt) so actually I stand alone in my achievements. I run, so I’m a runner and I’m really proud of that.
I always feel better after being outside. As I splashed through giant puddles today, I enjoyed the feeling of the water hitting my shins and the air against my cheek. I love being able to run straight out of our house and into the countryside. There’s such simple pleasure in watching the squirrel running across the fence post, the cows in their fields and the greetings of the fellow joggers, dog walkers and cyclists I see on my route.
Music helps too. I’m spurred on by the words and the melody, and the right song helps me find my stride and forget the pain, both physical and mental. Knowing this, you’d think I’d have an extensive music library, but actually technology is not my forte, and so I’m limited to the albums I’ve bought from Amazon, whether for myself or as a gift. I usually put the songs on shuffle and end up with magical combinations, as each one segues into the next. My latest purchase was the Trolls soundtrack, with my favourite, and Poppy’s being “Get Back up again”. Halfway through my run, when I could feel my motivation fading, I switched it on and instantly felt lifted. Partly, because I actually belted out the chorus like a proper mad woman! A full on ‘Sing like nobody’s listening’ moment. Again, the beauty of the countryside being so quiet and still. Sorry to anyone I startled, though I was careful to reign it in when I saw a car or people approaching. I’m not completely crazy (yet!)
Today’s run made me feel alive. My heart beating, my legs moving and my soul singing. If anyone had seen me, they might have laughed at my terrible singing voice or made an inconsiderate comment, or they might have been secretly rooting for me. My point is that you never truly know someone else’s situation and their reason for being, so the answer is not to judge them but to be kind, always.
Personally, I think the world needs more kindness right now and it definitely needs more people running and shouting out happy song lyrics at the tops of their voices!
If you haven’t found what makes your heart sing yet, keep searching x