We all have those days, don’t we? Those days where nothing goes to plan. Those days when even the ever-cheerful perky colleague that always offers to get you coffee still manages to frustrate you. Days when all of your deadlines are due and the internet is down. You end the day stressed, tense and angry at yourself for no particular reason.
I used to let it all build up, spend evenings moping in front of the television, feeling sorry for myself and too grumpy to go out and be social.
Then I discovered running.
I kid you not, I was never one of the sporty ones at school. I dreaded school cross country days and was never picked first for any teams. I wasn’t blessed with particularly long and muscled limbs and hand-eye co-ordination has never been one of my strengths. One day, however, a friend suggested to me when I (once again) rejected the invitation to go out after being so fed up from the day, that I a.) stop moaning and b.) go for a run. Of course, at first, I laughed in her face and settled back on the sofa with an obligatory box of quality street and turned up the volume on the television. But then, I looked through the window to see the luminescent calling of the outside air.
Maybe, if it wasn’t such a nice day and maybe if my garden didn’t look so bright and peaceful, I might never have dared to venture out the door equipped with an old pair of dusty trainers. But, luckily for me, I did. The first few times weren’t easy. I was overwhelmed with the challenge of trying to breathe while moving while trying to ignore passers by, all whilst trying not to worry about what I looked like. That complex thought pattern definitely distracted me from work-related dramas. It was that distraction that meant after I had completed my intended running route, I was able to get home, have an amazing shower and relax with the sense of having achieved something.
Instead of leaving me drained of energy as one would expect, it left me on a ‘runner’s high’. Endorphins were flowing sky high and I felt pumped and ready for more. It’s like I’d hit a second wind and was gifted with a sudden energy boost.
Now, when I run, controlled by the steady pace of my trainers hitting the pavement, I have an excuse not to worry about anything. Music pumping through my headphones lets me enter the world of daydreams about all things that may never be realised (rockstar and astronaut, maybe?). There is something greatly therapeutic about turning yourself off from the world and doing something purely for you. Running is my ‘me time’.
I’m not fast and I can’t go for long, but when I do go, I enjoy it. If you’ve never been, I urge you to try. If running doesn’t seem to be your fancy then maybe cycling or even a walk out and about might help. You never know, you may even find you are quite good at it and could be the next Paula Radcliffe – she had to start somewhere!