Until I was in my late-20s I really disliked running. I enjoyed bike rides, swimming, gym classes, roller blading, walking, but not running. I didn't think I could do it. I thought I wasn't designed to run (and that I wouldn't be any good at it!). My Dad was a runner. He would run at least 6 miles most mornings before work and ran for his university and local teams. My sister was a runner and did amazingly well at school. My brother was more of a footballer than a runner but was still pretty fast. I wasn't.
I did try. Occasionally I went running with a friend at university but I preferred my bike or the pool to give me a break from revision or studying.
It changed when I got a job where I travelled. I went from hotel to airport to conference venue to restaurant to evening reception to hotel to airport etc. Buffet breakfasts and restaurant meals (and jet lag) had an effect on my waistline and energy levels. Also, I love to travel but I wasn't really seeing much of the cities I was in (all over India, China, South East Asia, Japan, Europe and the US). And I wasn't getting much use out of my gym membership back home.
So, I started to run. It was not pretty, and not that easy. I started by going out super early to the local park and running around once before staggering home in a pool of sweat. The next week I ran around 1 and a half times. Then twice, then 3 times….I started leaving the park and pounding the streets of Islington. Then the streets of Hong Kong, Tokyo and Oslo, and the treadmills of Bangalore and Mumbai hotels (too hot and sticky to run outside). I met other runners and ran my first 5K in Hyde Park. Suddenly I found I LOVED it, and wasn't that bad at it. I ran a 10K, and chatted and danced my way around (not sure I was taking it seriously enough). Then I ran a half marathon as preparation for my wedding (great stress reliever and good prep for dancing all night). Hooked. I run when I'm on holiday to explore the local area and keep moving. I take my running kit every time I go away as it's a great way to explore.
Pregnancy and motherhood dampened my running a bit, but I got back to it slowly. And enjoyed the time to myself and being out in the fresh air. It's a sanity saver. In fact I sometimes get 'sent out' on a run by my loving husband. And here in the Wild Country of North Somerset there is some great running.
I love that I can now pass on my passion and my love of running to others. Both through my Monday running group and the beginners' workshops I run 4 times a year. I want to inspire others to love running too. Running isn't for everyone, but it might be for you…...