Mind Body & Soul or the connection between running and spirituality in the broadest sense – what a topic!
I was a keen sportsman in my youth and a lover of the great outdoors – tennis, rackets, real tennis and skiing but running never really figured in my repertoire and it always struck me as being a rather dull and arduous past time.
That all changed 5 years ago when I took a long hard look at myself and the life that I was leading. I was drastically overweight, suffered from Psoriatic Arthritis, which at least once a year would reduce me to walking on crutches and had resulted in me having an arthroscopy and condemned me to a life of pills. I was working long hours in a job that I wasn’t particularly enamoured with, was eating and drinking too much for the sedentary lifestyle that I was leading and I was, frankly, pretty disenchanted with life.
On the advice of my son-in-law, an Orthopaedic Surgeon, I had taken to walking 5km every day come rain or shine and decided to up the anti by joining a gym. As so often happens, when you need help most it comes in mysterious ways and in my case my particular angel was called, appropriately enough, Gabriel. He took me under his wing at the gym and offered unfaltering encouragement and support at my feeble efforts to better myself.
My lucky break came when the treadmills were all busy and desperate to get my 30 minutes run in I decided to venture outside and take my chances in the big, bad world. The moment I started off I knew that something had changed – it was a beautiful day and rather than stare at the grey wall in front of the treadmill or worse still catch sight of this panting lobster trying not to topple over I was enjoying the sunshine and the cooling breeze. I saw the vivid colours everywhere -the shops, the trees, the flowers in the gardens and the people going about their business, a lawn being mowed here a couple enjoying the sunshine on a bench over there – it was fantastic! Before I knew it half an hour had passed and it was time to head back to the gym knowing that this was the longest I had ever run and I didn’t even feel particularly tired.
Suffice it to say that from that day my life changed for ever in so many ways and you can read about those adventures on this website.
I’m going to be adding “Mind, Body & Soul” posts regularly to this page and will share some of the things that have helped me along the way from diet (I became a vegan for 18 months), to exercises – yoga, pilates, meditation and of course the mind games that you need to master to be a successful long distance runner. I would love to hear about your experiences too – how did your journey start, what do you get out of running – is it a means to an end (to look better and feel fitter) or is there something deeper. Maybe you are just thinking about starting – it’s never too late and hopefully this site will inspire you to start your own adventures!