The Guest Blog: Ashley Wilks

April 6, 2018

Have you ever asked yourself…‘Why do I run?’ There are hundreds of different potential answers and most of the time we have multiple answers. But the reason I started and the main reason I continue to run is because of my children. 

 

 

Becoming a dad was probably the hardest thing I have ever done. The sudden sense of responsibility, not only to provide for and protect my kids, but also to be a role model for them. Unfortunately for me, these pressures triggered a spell of depression. I will not go into details but ultimately these pressures highlighted my own flaws and my desire to be the ‘perfect’ father that I grew up without.

After visiting medical professionals, medication helped but being outside in the fresh air and having a bit of me time was the biggest help. When you run, your mind detangles all the thoughts and feelings you have going around in your head and after a few miles, I felt refreshed and rejuvenated. I always joke that running saved me. But when I needed something, it was there. It gave me something to focus on and gave me some structure.

 

As the routine of running took over, I lost weight and had an increased feeling of self- worth. It helped develop friendships and even motivated me to co-found Go!Team Running Club (@GoTeamRun). As a club we pride ourselves on providing a relaxed atmosphere for all abilities to enjoy and have now even started Couch to 5k Programs.

 

 

 

 

As the routine of running took over, I lost weight and had an increased feeling of self- worth. It helped develop friendships and even motivated me to co-found Go!Team Running Club (@GoTeamRun). As a club we pride ourselves on providing a relaxed atmosphere for all abilities to enjoy and have now even started Couch to 5k Programs.

 

To illustrate this, I promised my family I wouldn’t train for a marathon this year. I am the type of runner who follows a plan religiously and it can make family time along with work and other responsibilities feel stretched. This has taken the pressure off. Currently I am just running and coaching for enjoyment and the benefit is huge. My wife is amazingly understanding but a 3 hour run plus the afternoon of feeling wiped out would take its toll on even the most understanding family.

 

One way I like to fit everything in, is by running early at least once or twice a week. Getting up before the kids and being home and showered just as they rise, is a great way to start the day. Its times like these where finding your inner motivation is a must.

As the alarm goes off at 5am, you need more determination to get up and not press the snooze button than you do to run 26.2 miles. But once you are out the house, the feeling is brilliant. Early morning runs offer different experiences. The sun may just be coming up or the birds may just be waking. I have even discovered buildings or routes I never knew existed. Even the usual busy main roads feel different under the moonlight.

 

Running is something that has turned into a way of life both for myself and my family, but it’s always important to remember the role of being a parent is not always simple. Being adaptable and communicating are skills I have had to develop – and ones I hope not only make me a better runner but also a better Dad.

 

Twitter Personal :@stokeash55

Twitter Coaching: @AWRunFitness
Instagram: stokeash55 / awrunningfitness
Facebook : AW Running Fitness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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