At the weekend I was happy to babysit for my new granddaughter whilst her mum went out for her first post baby run. Just half an hour of child-free head space brought her back to us glowing. It’s true that running is every bit as much about mental health as physical and it was great to be part of the support team.
My own running habit has been less active since the last ‘justtenmiles’. Call it a rest for a couple of weeks. Not even a park run, the local course is sitting under a temporary lake.
Without the running, my writing fades a little too. The rhythm and solitude of running defines my thinking space. The breathing in and breathing out required to maintain a steady pace unravels my thoughts. I find words as I run, they tumble into my consciousness. Quite literally, I take an idea and run with it. I write poems in my head, short stories; perfectly crafted sentences. Sometimes I remember them when I get home; sometimes the words make it onto a page, often they don’t.
A new friend, a lovely gentle person, Elizabeth, asked could I record the words as I run? ‘I don’t take my phone’ I said. ‘I don’t run with headphones or a playlist.’ She laughed out loud and, with a distinctly different emphasis, said ‘I don’t run with headphones or a playlist either’.