I posted a blog the other day, "New Years Resolutions - Why?", all about, guess what, New Years resolutions & the fact that i don't make them. Amongst other observations.
One of the aspects of that i talked about, was how many people at this time of year will be thinking about getting fit, or at least trying to lose weight. That is one of the most popular New Years resolutions that i hear & it's the same every year.
I suppose this is only to be expected, after the excesses of the Christmas period.
What made me think of this again, was that this morning i went out for a run. It was my first run of the new year & the first of the new decade for that matter.
As i've mentioned before, either here, on in my vlogs on YouTube, i have been running for over twenty years now.
I first started running when i gave up smoking, which was rather ironically around the New Year of 1985/86. I had tried to give up smoking on a number of occasions before. But, had always started again. I was only what could be termed a "social smoker", but a smoker nonetheless. For example, i never smoked at work. Maybe, for this reason, i found it easier to give up?
I gave up smoking, more or less, on a whim. It wasn't planned at all. I just woke up on the morning of New Years Day in 1986 & never smoked again.
Well, you know how it is on New Years Day morning? The last thing you want is a cigarette! So, i didn't have one. This went on for a fair part of the day & suddenly i thought to myself "why not use this as an opportunity to try & give up smoking for good?"
As mentioned in that recent blog, i didn't tell anybody i was giving up, or at least trying to. I just did it quietly on my own.
For me, this was the best method & it's a method i've stuck with when i've ever wanted to change anything about myself ever since.
A friend of mine had decided to give up around the same time & he suggested that maybe we should try running? To help us get a bit fitter & also to help us combat the evil weed.
I can still remember that very first run & i'm pretty sure my friend can too!
As is usually the case, you never feel that you are actually as unfit as you really are. So, that first run, even though it was for only approx 20 miuntes, was not easy. But, then what did we expect?
We continued these runs for a while & then my friend decided that he was going to stop. I can't remember why.
I now had a decision to make. Do i stop, or do i carry on on my own? Thankfully, i decided to carry on. This was partly because i had come to realise that i was actually enjoying running.
I realise that i am quite lucky to feel this way. So many people i know, who do run, don't really enjoy it & find it a real chore. I am one of the lucky ones who loves to be out there, running free.
I carried on running, gradually increasing the distances, for a few months & then an opportunity to run a real race came up.
On Sunday, May 25th 1986, myself along with millions of others across the world, ran the world for Sport Aid, an offshoot of Band Aid & Live Aid. It was only a 10k "race", but it set the ball rolling for me, as far as running races was concerned.
Since that day, in May 1986, i have run 7 full marathons, including 4 London Marathons, 23 half marathons & many more races of varying distances.
Those races are something that i am very proud of, especially the marathons.
I tend not to run races nowadays & haven't run a full marathon for over 10 years now. I always have good intentions of running races, but those good intentions are usually as far as it goes.
I do still "tick over" as far as running is concerned. I don't run as much as i could, or probably should. But, i still enjoy it when i do & that's the main thing.
I often look back very favourably to that New Years day in 1986, when i decided to give up smoking & also to that day when i forced myself & my friend out of the front door, to go for that first, life changing, run.
I fully intend to keep on running free, for as long as my body, or my heart, will let me.
Here's hoping that will be for quite some time yet.