Ever since I was a child I hated running. You get all sweaty and out of breath, your wobbly bits wobble and your face turns red. Through my adult life I attempted to run every now and then (on average once every other year) mainly with the intention to impress this or that guy. Still hated it. Surprisingly, now I’m known as a crazy running mum and a militant parkrun enthusiast who will not turn down any opportunity to conquer a mile or two. So what has changed?
I started properly running last year. I vaguely remember joining a running club for a sole purpose: to meet some hot guys, because of course that’s where all the handsome and fit guys are gathering. I have not dated any of them… yet I keep running. So why do I run?
I run because when I’m running, I don’t care. I don’t care about anything. I don’t care about my (adorable) screaming baby. I (strangely) don’t care about those I love. I don’t care about those who annoy me (the list is long and you are probably on it). I don’t care that my house is a mess which normally bothers me greatly (I hate mess!). I don’t care that I need a new job so potential unemployment hangs over my head like the sword of Damocles. I don’t care that I am stressed about the impossible prospect of juggling a career with single-handedly caring about my little one. I don’t care that I’m broke and my savings keep getting smaller each month. I don’t care that I haven’t showered unobserved for a very very long time. I don’t care that every time I go for a wee, my little treasure takes advantage of being unsupervised and attempts to catch and lick the guinea pig, or stuff its poops into the power socket.
When I run, the most important thing and the only thing I truly care about is to make another step, followed by another step, and another, until meters become miles, and ultimately until I get to the finish. That’s why I run – because every minute I run is a minute when I don’t care about anything in the universe. It’s the most liberating feeling ever, especially in the world of musts and obligations and pressures – in the world where freedom is a mere illusion. But not when I’m running. When I’m running, freedom is real.
PS: This is a huge thanks to all my friends, family and Datchet Dashers who looked after my little one so I could run!
PPS: Any potential babysitters for Sunday’s cross country? 😉