I’m less than four weeks away from claiming my thirty second year on this fine earth and for most of the adult of those years I’ve made promises to myself regarding my state of physical and mental health. For as long as I’ve known I’ve had an unrivalled talent for self-deprecation and quite frankly I’m sick of it now. It’s tiring work feeling so down on yourself all of the time.
When I was twenty four I began studying towards a part time degree with the Open University. I was working full time when I started it so this new life as a part-time student took up a lot of my free time. I only just finished that degree in December 2011 by which point I was a term into a part-time masters degree at Durham University. By then spare time seemed like a myth and my old favourite hobby of mountain biking was long out of sight.
Fast-forward to three weeks ago and – about to embark on my second degree with the Open University in betwixt my masters degree – out of the blue I realised that studying has turned me into an unintentional couch potato. I’ve put on three stone in the past five years and have fostered an increasing despondence with my sense of wellbeing. I feel sluggish and ugly – inactivity breeds laziness and I’m about as lazy as they come but this is making me so miserable that it simply has to change.
I want to feel alive again. I want endorphins to flood through me like a healthy drug. I want adrenaline to push me to my limit so I can smash it to smithereens with a kung-fu kick. I just don’t want to feel so down on myself.
I’m going to start running. Nothing new, nothing different, just running. I’ll run, for mountain-biking strength. I’ll run, for the enjoyment of it. I’ll run, for my life.