I was a long distance runner for 31 years. I started running when I was 28 after watching the Comrades Marathon and deciding that I wanted to do something challenging. Most of my friends and colleagues laughed at me. I was a heavy smoker and enjoyed a late night club lifestyle and no-one imagined that I had the tenacity to stick with anything.
“What you?” peals of laughter was the general mood around the water cooler.
What my friends and colleagues didn’t know was that I suffered from depression and debilitating panic attacks which sometimes made leaving the house difficult. When the blues hit I would hole up in my safe environment until they were over.
Running changed everything.
In the beginning I could not run 200 metres and had to start with a run and walk program. After my first “run” I had to sit on the pavement with head between my legs because I thought I was going to faint. Persistence and practice are the keys to everything.
Because I started at rock bottom of the running ladder, and made every mistake that a novice can make, I have empathy for the sloggers of this world. I was more of a worker than a lithe talented runner but from the very back of the field I managed to achieve things I never believed possible.
Running changed my life. I passionately believe it gives you the tools to help you get through life. I will be discussing more about this through my blog as I develop an interactive life coaching/running program.