WHY…? Why you going to the gym? Why are you out running? Why aren’t you smiling..? Constant questions I am always asked by variety of people (notably my wife!) when the topic of training and running come up…so it got me thinking, why AM I doing it? Why are ANY of us running/exercising…?
I remember when I first came to Glasgow, a close friend of mine was manager of a well-known gym chain and used to get me along to early-morning sessions (around 7am). In between breaths I asked him why we were thrashing ourselves so early in the morning (!)…he replied: “so we can play with our kids when we get old mate.”
Now that is certainly true – my youngest is the most sporty of all my kids, and while I sometimes wish he had been my first, despite my age, I am certainly able to keep up with him in the various sport activities he thrusts upon me across the year. I am also linked to @runningdads on twitter whose hashtag is #inspiringourchildren. Being (relatively) fit definitely helps me keep up with all of the brood and I hope it inspires them to maintain a healthy lifestyle growing up.
As for the wife…well, I am not so sure – she has claimed that running made me too skinny, then complained that I was too fat after being in the gym – my son actually commented I had a trampoline-belly, so not sure I can really win…BUT I am trying!
Secondly, I work in a job that uses sport and physical activity to assist people make personal changes to their lives. I have seen a huge number of people that are not taking care of themselves and are in serious danger to themselves on a health front…I NEVER wanted to be like that, and knew that if I didn’t do something when I stopped playing rugby, I could, with the amount of food I consume, blossom into the type of person I was critical of and who I am trying to help.
So the second reason I run/exercise, is linked to the first – to inspire the audience I work with. How can I enthuse about the power of physical activity to change lives if I didn’t participate in anything myself?! Weirdly, this group also encourage me – when I hit the wall in any run (happens a lot!), I think about this group – many of the people I work with overcome HUGE obstacles every day to progress. Some of these barriers seem alien to me, drugs, drink, prison etc, and I ask myself if a ‘small’ hill is really a VALID reason to stop?! If XX can make it past their problems, surely I can handle this run?
Finally, and perhaps more importantly, I run…FOR ME. Mentioned in Blog #1 (you have read it, yes?) – running and exercise is my escape – a way to maintain my mental fitness! That and music allow me the time to get away from everything and stay (relatively) sane.
O, ignore the watch, and the times…ignore the stash of medals…ignore the weird looks and daft questions from people that just don’t get it…AND GET OUT and FEEL GREAT!
March – two months until the Mens 10k – a special one, as it is run on Father’s Day (see ‘reasons to run #1’).
It’s been tough to fit in the miles this month, although started well with the Glentress Trail Half at end of February (beautiful, brutal, scenic, hilly and tough!), and a couple of parkruns early-doors. Running then took a back-seat while I focused on my touch rugby sessions which included a trip to Manchester for a National Club Competition. I’ve been going to the gym when the weather has been bad, allowing me some HIIT and fitness work on the rower and bike (stay clear of the dreadmil!!) – cue some awful gym-selfies apres-exercise (check me out on @DRMSport)!
Then mental health took a hit towards end of month – not one reason, more a mix of things, but I lacked motivation for anything, even though knew it would help. Topped off with a horrible bug/virus/man-flu at end of month (honestly, I was near to death!), you can say that its been tough…BUT now I’ve recovered, and some motivation has returned. Had great chat with a contact at the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) who helped me clarify some things, and things are on the way up. I’m running at Kilomathon on Sunday, with some more rugby events planned later in April.
THE ONLY WAY IS UP – keep up all the good work troops, and look forward to seeing you on June 16th. Entries still open, so get along to one of THE best 10K events in the country…