Sometimes, when the wind is hitting hard against the window, and the cold rain is cutting through the dark grey clouds outside, there isn’t a single part of me that wants to leave my flat.
I look at my mud-stained Nikes, clearly falling apart yet no doubt very loved, and back again to the miserable scenes outside. I shiver at the thought of going face-to-face with the Scottish elements.
Yet still, I find myself out there, running through it all.
I started running at the end of March 2020. It’s now coming to almost a year, and according to my Strava – which I have updated religiously – I have run at least once every single week since. Truth be told, while my record looks pretty envious on paper (or in digital format, to be more accurate), it’s been difficult.
I was never a lover of sports growing up. I was a very skinny, body-conscious teenager, and have a vivid memory of spending one hour in a toilet cubicle to avoid having to attend a P.E. lesson.
So, when my friend Junaid told me he had set up the Melting Scot, and asked me to create a video stating a goal I wished to achieve over lockdown, I am not quite sure what possessed me to say that I would ‘run 10km by the end of the lockdown’.
In any case, we are now well into a second national lockdown, and I have run a hefty 795km. Not to brag – but bragging nonetheless – my 5km Personal Best is a sweet 19:19, and my 10k is 40:10. Yep, I don’t just like to run – I can run like the best of them.
Even though the pandemic has brought a lot of things to a stand-still, running has shown me that a lot of things still change in the space of a year. The most beautiful thing it has shown me, is how the seasons don’t stop for anyone. Seeing spring turn to summer, green leaves turn gold in the autumn, and then running through thick snow in the winter, I feel blessed to have experienced so much of the year outdoors when the weather has been great – and not so great.
I have seen myself get physically stronger. But most of all, I have demonstrated how mentally strong I can be.
Even when I have felt the wind thrashing against my face, heard men shouting at me as I ran past, and faced ankle and hip pain; one way or another, I have kept going. There are bound to be more obstacles ahead, but one year on, the journey has been fantastic, and I won’t let anything else stop me.