The joy of running (by a non-runner)

My name’s Olly and I have something to tell you; I don’t like running.

 

That was me 2 years ago when I was living in England with my monthly gym membership. After pretending to lift a few heavy weights, I used to force myself to run on the treadmill for 10 minutes and I would usually give up bored after 8!

Then something happened; I found myself in a relationship with a runner. Now, let me tell you, pretending to like running is no easy feat! I woke up early in the morning to cram a run in before work, endured perpetual boredom and life threatening sore legs, all just to spend time with her!

A few (painful) months later, I don’t remember exactly when, but somewhere along the way, I fell in love! Yes, running suddenly took hold of my life and hasn’t let go since.

Running is so much more than a sport; it’s something humans just do, think about it, after babies stand up, what do they do? OK, OK, I guess they walk but only because they can’t run! They would if they could right? Perhaps that’s where I find the magic. It’s totally pure, devoid of any rules, regulations and boundaries. Running is whatever I want it to be – when I need time to think, I run. When I want to forget things, I run. When I want to feel better physically, I run. When I want to improve my mental state, I run. And ultimately, when I want to have fun, I RUN!

OK, OK, you get it, I like running now, so what? Well, I just wanted to share my experience because I know how many people would love to improve their fitness levels, their strength and endurance, their flexibility and to generally become healthier and happier people. It’s definitely all possible through running and I have first hand experience of accidentally falling into doing something I never thought I would enjoy. This was a great lesson for me in being open to new experiences, which I try to apply to all things in life; you just never know what you might eventually come to love!

Two years after my adventure began I’m around 8 kilos lighter, which has helped my athletic performance and my ability to enjoy running and other things no end. This weight loss was due to increased levels of exercise but I also gave up dairy products and meat, something I have blogged about in recent posts. These changes created a “lightness” I had never experienced before and gave me motivation to keep on running! It went so well that I’m now trying to adopt a totally plant based diet, so I’m excited to see how that works out!

Hundreds of kilometres down the line, I’m two weeks away from my second half marathon and I’ve just signed up for my first marathon (42km!!!) here in Lisbon in June.

I’d better get running!

 

Oh, and the runner who I tried to impress at the beginning of the story?….It was all worth it; we are getting married later this year! It’s been quite the journey, in more ways than one, I can tell you!

 

 

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