A couple of weeks ago I went to an evening organised by the 4th Estate Literary Salon with 3 memoir authors: Damian Barr, Alexandra Heminsley and Andy Miller. Following that insightful and very entertaining evening, I started reading Alexandra Heminsley’s memoir on becoming a runner – ’Running Like A Girl’ – and a lot of emotions have been resurfacing.
I realised how much I’ve missed running.
In 2012 I completed my first ever half-marathon and I remember how running made me feel. I used to tell everyone how addictive running can get but, when finally the memory of the last couple of miles which made every single muscle in my legs scream with pain dissipated, it was too late. The addiction was gone. I was in my softball playing phase and when the season finished I went straight through to my yoga phase. I still love softball and I still love yoga, but I desperately miss running. Reading about the fallen toenails after Alexandra’s first 10 mile run, made me cry a little bit inside and it reminded me of my left big toenail which had the same fate, following the half-marathon. Back then I didn’t even know that running in ill-fitted shoes was the cause, I assumed it was some kind of fungus and covered it in creams and solutions until it looked normal again.
Running is such an emotional journey and I miss the times when I got hooked on it. Now I still have the same ill-fitted running shoes which need changing and I should probably not hit the pavements of London again before new fitted shoes embrace my feet, but I feel like I can’t wait anymore. The concrete is calling, the cloud-patterned sky is calling, the lights of the city are calling, the solitude of running is calling, the feeling that I am getting places on my own two legs is calling. I miss being in control of something – my life’s been such an unpredictable roller coaster lately, that I need the comfort of running like the air that I breathe.
It’s funny, I realised that there are a few activities that ground me and they are also the ones I do the least when life takes over with its crazy pace. The running, the writing and the reading. These have been the pillars of my sanity and yet the ones I have given time to the least. And that makes me angry, it makes me mean, it makes me weak, it makes me anything that I am not and it scares me how easily we can lose ourselves when we stop practicing the kind of personal ’meditation’ that grounds us in this lifetime. So I am thankful for the feelings that ’Running Like A Girl’ have instilled in me and I am ready to run again. Hopefully better equipped with lots of great tips provided by the author in this delicious memoir.