Awesome Annie

Fixed By Running

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I thought you might be interested in a runner’s story,
to give you an idea of my journey through weight-loss and how running has
helped me get there. I am not sure if running fixed my spirit, or whether I saw
the damage my spirit had sustained, and that made me run. What I know is that I
feel better because I run.

 

I have learnt so much about myself through running. I
have a mental toughness I didn’t have before. There is a physical benefit, too:
The weight lost and the increase in physical strength. After years of
physically battling the weight, my spirit was weak and defeated. Repeated
failures had left me demoralised and embarrassed.

 

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The strangest thing about running
was that it wasn’t a physical thing for me. Through life circumstances and
various catalysts, I was able to connect with myself, someone I had buried deep
inside, the young girl I once was, with hopes and dreams. It was the mental/spiritual
connection that got me running again, so for me it was never just physical, although
I do enjoy the physical side of running, now.

 

I had run at school – under duress
– and then again some in 2008/9, but that is when I had an aneurysm, which literally
stopped me in my tracks. That, combined with a number of other setbacks, left
me emotionally battered.

 

Running might well have been a ‘poor
man’s’ expression of a mid-life crisis for me, because at 40 I started to run
seriously. I do have to qualify ‘seriously’ here, because I am no great athlete
– I am not going to break any winner’s tape – but every day that I get out
there and run is a personal victory for me. I like myself better when I run,
and apparently I am easier to live with too!

 

Running is a solo sport, so they
say, but I have met the most amazing people on the run, and through this
running journey I have become richer. My son once asked me if I am sorry I
didn’t do this earlier, and whilst part of me wishes I had, I also know I
wasn’t ready.

 

Just more than three years later
I still get goose-bumps on runs, when it all comes together and I am filled by
the wonder of running, and a deep sense of gratitude to my body for forgiving
me the many past transgressions and allowing me to run.

 

You cannot fake running, you have
to do the work, and it keeps you honest. And that’s why these words by an
unknown author also speak to the runner in me: “Be confident. Too many days are
wasted comparing ourselves to others and wishing to be something we aren’t.
Everybody has their own strengths and weakness; it is only when you accept
everything you are, and aren’t, that you will truly succeed.”

 Share Your Story

If you have a great story about your running or fitness journey and want
to share it with your fellow modern athletes, send it to
seanf@modernathlete.co.za

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