Running and Me
It’s nearly the end of May, which means my 10k a day challenge is nearly over!! There have been times when I wasn’t sure I’d make it this far but now it’s nearly over I feel brilliant for sticking with it. I’ve been asked quite a few times why I was doing the challenge so I thought I would briefly share my reason. It may even inspire some of you who been through your own ‘bad time.’
When I lost my dad just over two years ago my life changed forever. I felt a pain that was beyond anything I’d felt before, and my life became a real struggle. Of course, running an employee wellbeing company I was well positioned to understand how I could help myself to bring about some positive change. There are certainly no silver bullets and we all cope differently. I decided I wanted to try the exercise route to improve my mental health. And so, I bought some cheap trainers and ran about a half-mile before nearly collapsing. I’d never done any distance running before so this seemed a really long way, and so did every day for the following few weeks, but slowly my distance increased and roughly twelve months later I ran my first marathon.
I felt strongly that I needed to spend more time with my thoughts, even the really dark and sad ones. I knew supressing them wouldn’t help me in the long-term and running provided me with that head space. I had seen how destructive grief can be and I decided I didn’t want my dad’s death to be something that defined me. I wanted to live on in the memory of his life. And so, every time I run he is there with me, in my thoughts and my heart. It’s where I savour the memories, and it’s become such a special time for me.
I’ve realised over the months since I started running that there are some parallels with grief. Although there is no finish line or final destination with grief it is still about putting one foot in front of the other; taking one more step forward when the pain sets in and not giving up when the climate suddenly changes.
Grief is in no way nice. It may be part of life, but it’s a horrible part. For me though, it’s turned out to be a powerful motivator. By reframing my grief and channelling the pain I have been able to raise money for good causes in my Dad’s name, improve my fitness and deal with the stresses of family life and work. Also, still feeling so connected to my Dad spurs me on to be the best version of myself, the person he knew I could be.
So tomorrow is the last day of May and my last 10k run is going to be quite emotional I think. I will be running with Sarah and her wonderful Green Army and I know my Dad will be with me when I am running it also. I am also sure he will be there to join me for my pint of Guinness at the finish too.
If anyone would like to sponsor me for this challenge in aid of Wakefield Hospice here is the link – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/10kadim19?fbclid=IwAR3bcakxsF46tm5otNOCjQDAItKL3imlUh1-olAwTYBiSU9y4xQsKnja-eI