When I finished my doctorate in 2008 I needed a new goal. Done with flexing my brain, I needed a physical challenge and so, I decided I would train for my first marathon.
A miracle arrived in the form of my running coach Al. Al, a gentle man in his 60's, had a passion for running rivalled by none. Every Saturday morning Al arrived bright and early with his infectious smile and ran with me. We started slowly and walked for a large part of session. He told me I didn't run like a girl and I became his biggest fan.
Al wrote me a program that I followed through the week on my own and looked forward to showing off my progress every Saturday. Before I knew it, I entered my first 10km fun run and sprinted up hills without much huffing and puffing at all. I felt so alive.
Six months in, I fractured my foot and took a break from running. Unfortunately, not long after breast cancer got in the way and I have only relatively recently been able to put my running shoes back on.
Instead of running 10km, I'm only running 3 or 4, but that doesn't matter. I am running! I love to run. I love that it hurts as I challenge my body. I know what it can take. It can take a lot.
On the weekend I purchased a new set of headphones and I ran with music for the first time in a long time and guess what..... I doubled my exercise time!
I sang out loud and ran faster than usual, motivated so much by the music playing only for me. It's only been a week and I've run four times. Once again, I'm starting to think about it when I'm doing anything else, planning my day around when I can run.
This is living.
Al changed my life and sadly I don't live near him anymore, but I think of him every time I lace up my Asics running shoes - one of the best people I have ever known.
- I started this blog as I entered my 40th year, and now firmly in my 40s, I continue to learn so much about life. I'm learning that life rarely goes according to plan and that there's something new to learn every single day, be it a subtle nudge or a smack in the face.... This is my blog about muddling through my 40s-working hard, writing a book, being an ammateur photographer, trying to exercise and eat well, endeavouring to be the world's best aunt, as well as having fun and laughing out loud every single day.