And I am in my happy place.
There is something so therapeutic about running. I am not sure if it is the feeling of your feet pounding one after the other; sending vibrations up your weary legs or the sensation of freedom as the wind breezes past your face. Whatever it is, running takes me to my happy place.
Come rain, wind or shine you will find me out traipsing across Dartmoor in my fluorescent running jacket. I often wonder what the farmers must think when they see a bright pink blob running across their fields.
Something that I find particularly frustrating though is that people just don’t get it. The amount of times people have asked me how I manage to go running when I can’t otherwise summon much energy. Recovering from a brain injury makes you tired. More than tired actually, fatigued. Fatigue is like nothing else I have ever experienced. Imagine every muscle in your body being pulled down by the heaviest weights imaginable. Now times that feeling by a thousand. That is what it feels like to be fatigued. When most people think about what would make them exhausted they probably think of something physical. For me, this is not the case.
The situations that I find zap the most energy from me are those of the social variety, in particular those involving conversations. Having to listen, talk, think and interact with other people drains me more than anything else.
Running, on the other hand, energises me.
This weekend I was supposed to be going on my longest run to date. I have been slowly increasing my mileage week on week in careful preparation for the Paris Marathon.
Then came the hip pain.
Walking around like John Wayne was starting to become a bit of an issue.
So, I booked myself in to see the chiropractor. I was sat in the waiting room thinking about how I had made the wrong choice when getting dressed that morning. I knew from sports physiotherapist that it is better to wear leggings, but as I was meeting my ex-boyfriend for lunch after I had opted for a dress and tights combo.
As I was contemplating how best to keep my modesty I was called in by a lovely young blonde lady called Amy.
We sat down and went through the usual list of medication, previous illnesses and medical history.
I was poised to start undressing and get on the couch and then she said something that I was completely and utterly not expecting.
“I can’t treat you today as I think you may have a stress fracture in your hip”
For a moment, time stopped. I couldn’t believe what I had just heard. It can’t be, that’s what people get from being undernourished and over-exercised. Surely they can’t take the one thing I have that keeps me sane away from me.
Running isn’t just about keeping fit for me. Running is my release. It is the only time I get to feel completely free. It’s difficult to explain to anyone that doesn’t run, but personally I believe that running has played one of the largest roles in my road to recovery.
All of a sudden it hit me. Would I be able to do the Paris Marathon?