Wednesday 29 March 2017

Why do I run?

Why I run?

A question often asked, but for someone like me the answer isn't always as simple as "'cos I can". Originally I started running because I was looking at an early deaths door. I stopped all forms of exercise, I was drinking lots of alcohol and eating way too much. For example, I'd have a cooked tea at home and then I'd be out having a couple McDonald's burgers on top. It was no surprise when I hit close to 20 stone in weight really.

My two brothers asked me if I wanted to run an obstacle course for charity with them. Being in denial of my own health I thought "yeah it will be a laugh, I could do that". Initially they said we were entering the 3 mile version only to find out actually we were entering the 7 mile version of the Commando Challenge.

20 stone road to an early grave
I did very little training and after the first mile it showed. To cut a long story short I finished it but I was close to having to organise my own funeral. It was then I vowed to run it again and with a bit of training, lose a little weight, and run pretty much all of it (apart when having to queue for obstacles). I did just that! I had lost a little bit of weight and smashed it out of the park, and this time it wasn't me who struggled. It was then I also got a place in the London Marathon and my life changed for the good. I trained properly by following a programme, lost a lot of weight and smashed the London Marathon.
London 2010
So originally it was for weight loss, but then I found how much it was doing for my mental health. I've used my running to raise a lot of money and awareness of various causes so it gives me that warm fussy feeling that I'm helping people by doing something I can actually do. It also keeps my head fresh, when I've had bad days at work or home it allows me to clear my head, get things back in order and cope with the stresses of life.

Which brings me on to why I run nowadays? The last couple of years I've come to realise how precious life is with losing a few friends early in their lives. One being one of my best mates. 1 died in Afghanistan during the conflict, 1 died at work suddenly due to an unknown time bomb in her brain, and my best friend through cancer. All had very young families and taken too soon. However I need to thank them, because they taught me some valuable life lessons. I don't stress or worry about smaller things if I can help it. Putting that into my running, I don't care about PB's anymore - if they happen they happen. I am not worried about missing a run, or having to rest. I make sure I work my running around my family and not the other way round. They support my running so much it's only fair I give back as much if not more to them.

Helping others through running
I see so many people stressing about this and that when it comes to running. It's hard not just to tell them "Be thankful for what you have" because to some even the little issues appear massive to them and you don't know the full story behind them. I hope though by doing this blog they may also think about what really is important to them.

It's always the way with the written word on the internet that somethings don't come across how you want them to sound, I hope this doesn't either. Running is therapy to me, I use the trails to help me deal with life. Getting outside in the fresh air surrounded by beautiful scenery helps me and I know it does for many others, be it coping with just general life or mental health like PTSD.

Top family
I guess now is a good time as any other to thank my wife and my son for all their support with my running. I know without it, I'd either not be running or I wouldn't be running in the same way I am today.

Thanks for reading.

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