The older I get, the more I’ve come to value my physical and mental well-being. Whenever I get stuck in a reinforcing loop of negative thinking and feeling, the quickest way to break free and think fresh is to go for a walk. Better still, I go for a run.
This morning, as I get ready to set off on my first 5K charity run after giving birth to a bouncing baby girl in December 2012, my friend Thoughtful Jim gives me a gentle nudge.
“Remember, you are not running for yourself,” says Jim, in his usual quiet voice.
Exercise With Heart
“Who am I running for then?” I snap back. Perhaps defiantly. More like petulantly. Most definitely selfishly.
Jim remains silent to give me time to reflect.
I feel my blood pressure rise as I psych myself up to beat my fellow runners. Raising money for charity is all well and good. Why shouldn’t I also use the opportunity to beat my PB?
When I see the swell of crowds gathering on the hilltop where we are to race, I remember.
That we are gathered here today to promote awareness of cancer sufferers past, present and future. That we are gathered here to prevent cancer by keeping fit ourselves. And that the race of life can be best enjoyed when run in the company of our friends.