The other night I wanted to write about something on here but couldn't think of anything. I turned to social media and posted on Facebook and I got a great suggestion from Nicola Moriarty.
"What you think life would be like if you didn't run?".
This got me thinking, which then got me thinking a bit more. What would my life be like if I didn't run?
The original reason I started running was to lose weight. At the peak of my weight I was 18.5 stone back in 2007 and really needed to get a bit fitter. I wasn't happy with the way I looked and hated the fact that I couldn't buy clothes in many shops because they didn't do my size. After many failed attempts to lose weight, which were pretty half hearted when I think about it now, I went to Run and Become, spent £80 on some running shoes and there was no going back. I wasn't going to let £80 worth of shoes sit and rot.
Life without running would be so very different. There is a very high chance I wouldn't have met my wife! There is a very high chance I would be still very over weight and there is an even higher chance I wouldn't be happy.
Running really has changed my life for the better.
I think if I wasn't running, I would possibly be more active in the traction kiting scene. I used to teach at St Andrews every weekend and also represented Scotland at the European championships for kite buggy racing, twice. I really enjoyed it but if it was raining, if there was no wind or if the tide was in, I couldn't get out kiting. Many weekends were spent at locations around Scotland with me sitting in my one man tent listening to the rain or waiting for the wind to pick up. It was expensive as well but the teaching paid for the travelling and accomodation but without that income, I couldn't really afford to pay X amount for a weekend and then get no racing in.
That's one of the many things I like about running, it can be done in all weather conditions and it doesn't cost that much on a yearly basis.
I admit it's more enjoyable getting out for a run on a nice day but it doesn't need to be nice to get a run in. In the winter there is a sense of satisfaction when you head out in to the pouring rain and wild wind, do your run and get home for a hot shower knowing you have beaten the elements. Maybe this is why I enjoy Cross Country running so much.
If I didn't run, this blog wouldn't be here.
I guess the next question would be,
What will you do when you can't run any more?
I really hope that the day I can't run doesn't come any time soon, I've had short spells out of running due to injury but nothing major. I would need to find something to replace the feeling of running. Maybe swimming or cycling or something else, it would depend on the reasons that I was out of action.
Without my regular run I do get a bit 'on edge', I'm not a stressed out sort of person, if anything my life style is of the horizontal type - but when things get to me, I need to run to blow off steam. There have been times when Mandy (the Boss!), has told me to stop what I am doing and just go for a run. Even if it's just a couple of miles, just enough to bring the gauge back to normal-ish!
It will take something major for me to give up running though, I enjoy the training, the racing, the ups and downs that it all brings. It is also a fantastic way to see somewhere new. Even in Edinburgh, a place I have been running around for a number of years now, I am still finding new routes, my latest is the mass of cycle paths that Edinburgh has to offer. I've only scratched the surface of these runs.
I really don't want to think about not being able to run. Running allows me to eat what I like - most of the time. It introduced me to Mandy, it has also introduced me to a fantastic bunch of people who I can now call my friends. Running isn't just about fitness, there is a massive social side of things if you want there to be, but it can also be a solo activity and maybe this is the real appeal to me. If I want to be sociable I can be but if I don't, I can pull on my trainers and just run on my own.