My running journey
(Me on the left, and my sis, running on the beach in NZ when we were tiny).
I first started running when I was 17 years old. I’d done a little bit of running in school and doing netball (a popular female sport in NZ, kind of like basketball), but that was it. To be honest it hadn’t really occurred to me as a sport, because I had always been so busy (I did ballet, jazz ballet, contemporary dance, tennis, and netball all throughout highschool, it was AWESOME and also pretty full on!).
Before this, I used to have dreams about running all the time. I am an avid dreamer, I dream all night long every night and a lot of my dreams are very vivid and clear (let’s not even get started on the nightmares). Not long before I started running I was having a lot of these dreams, where it just felt good to be running as fast as I could. Let’s not analyse that beyond it indicating that I was prone to the running bug 😉
I started running around the farms near my house, basically trail running through paddocks. The problem with this was that there were often cows in the paddocks, and the funny thing about cows is that they are usually tame enough that when they see a human, they think it means feeding time. Getting chased by hungry mooing cows is not as fun as you might think, and so to avoid the stress of that every time I went for a run I started running on the road (As I am writing this I am realising how ridiculous it probably sounds, but this is the reality or rural life in New Zealand 🙂 ).
This is when shizzle got real. I started to really enjoy it, although I only ran short distances and would often do a minute of running a minute of walking in the beginning. As time went on though, I got more and more into it. Then I went to university, and started going to the gym and working out, and I would run regularly throughout the week too. At this time I was mainly running for the physical aspect of it, because I saw it as a good workout and enjoyed the sweaty challenge it gave me. Us runners are a special breed, that’s for sure 😉 I started running a lot more and to the point where it was pretty much a daily thing.
Now I’m in quite a different place with my running. I very much care about being physically healthy but what running does for my mental health/happiness is now much more relevant in my life. Running is my stress relief, it makes me way less grumpy, helps me zen out when I need it, and is the perfect endorphin fix for me. It helps me deal with whatever life chucks at me. It also makes me appreciate life’s sweet moments all the more. It compliments and is complimented by my yoga obsession and keeps me fit and healthy and most importantly, happy.
I feel so lucky to have run on almost every beautiful beach in Middle Earth, through mafia country in Sicily (boy do I have some stories about that), in Malaysia (although it is so humid there it felt more like swimming than running), on three foot of frozen-over-lake in Canada, and now all over sunny Sydney, Australia.
Who knows where my next running adventure will be?
Bring it on!