Cycological

Running, running, running

I have a confession to make.

I hate running…

You would not know it from my Facebook and Instagram feed. Ha, don’t believe anything you see on social media.

There was a time in my life when running served a purpose other than trying to get ‘healthy’. I think at the time that I was at my running peak, I was running away. Running away from myself. Running away from what I feared was the biggest mistake in my life. Running away from the raging thoughts in my head. Suffice to say it did not help. Yes, I lost a few pounds – but I rapidly regained the weight and some once, I realised I needed to face my life choices. I had a few conversations with real ‘runners’ and realised internally that I just didn’t care about running as much as the person in front of me whose eyes where lit up as told me about their personal best time or the latest pair of running leggings. The problems that I was running from, did not disappear.

Yes…

Instead I continued to torture my body when running and my mind when I thought I should be running. When I was running I would develop this terrible itch that would affect my legs I’d come out in hives. No, I am not allergic to exercise. I have cholinergic urticaria. When my core temperature goes up this appears to trigger histamine release, it is seasonal happening to me only really when I run in slightly colder weather. Sometimes after a Sunday morning run I would be so tired I would sleep all day and that would be that day over. In the end my running dwindled to nothing. I dropped out of the running group that I had joined and my specially bought running trainers (well – Adidas) gathered dust in the sofa.

Hmm…

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results

In retrospect, I perhaps should have reflected the things I was running away from. I had a certain set of expectations in the people that were in my life at that time. I wanted these people to be and act a certain way towards me. I should have realised that if I stayed in that situation then I would just have to accept them the way they where or leave. I did not leave and so I suffered. I was in a pain that I could not articulate, all I could do was run. What I should have done is think about what I needed and searched for it. I should not have asked or expected something from those who could not provide it. I should have allowed myself to accept the fact that not all people are going to be friendly and they will not all like me. I should have realised that people would not agree with me all the time. I should have thought about the fact that some people never change and would never understand or be interested in my needs. I should have faced reality.

I have another confession.

I love cycling!

When I was growing up I wanted a bike so badly but my siblings and I were not allowed – my father thought that it would be a distraction to our studies. However I still spent hours, days, weeks, months and years daydreaming about where I would be going on my two wheels. I finally bought first bike at the age of 24 years, just after I qualified as a doctor. I felt by then I ‘deserved’ it. I worked hard passing GCSEs, ‘A’ levels and obtaining two degrees at university, so it was about time. I spent my free time between onerous hospital shifts, cycling around my town, enjoying the feeling of freedom (this was in the days before I could drive). I love my bikes.

I have bought 5 bikes in the intervening 18 years.

I cycled to the local nature reserve. It was a beautiful summer evening and so liberating.

The second bike is my last beautiful acquisition two years ago and it’s not had much usage. I feel guilty about this as it feels like such as waste. I am not sure why I have not been able to cycle in the way that I found running so easy to do, even though I love the former activity and loathe the latter. I am sure these tells me something about myself.

I am going to try and cycle a little more next month. I will start small and achievable. I’ve put my cycling kit out on the sofa , let’s hope I get to wear it.

Watch this space…

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