14th February: Valentine’s Day.
This one is dedicated to the love of my life. ❤
The love of your life should bring out the best in you.
When you’re with them, you should feel invincible: the two of you against the world.
The love of your life should enhance your dreams and charge you with the power to run at them head first.
The love of your life should hold out their arms on your darkest days; the unity you have formed the rays of sun that bring you peace.
The love of your life should revive you.
It won’t always be easy, but the journey paved will ignite a million memories that will be your medicine when times are hard.
Running is the love of my life.
Nothing – no person, no experience and no activity – compares to the happiness that I take from running.
When I run, I feel like a totally different person.
Running transforms me into the very best version of myself.
I move with a noticeable spring in my step, my head held high. My eyes do not look down at the ground, but instead drink in every detail of the moments I get to share with my body. The sunrises, the sunsets, and everything in-between. The blossoms in the spring, and the wink of the frost in the winter.
My senses are heightened as I dance through the rain, my feet moving in poetic unison, bathing in the sharpness of the dew-soaked air.
The thudding of my heart reminds me that I am alive.
Every draw of breath, every muscle flexed, every footstep that bounces off the ground – it’s the symphony of my body; the soundtrack to the life we have carefully created together.
When the weight of the working week takes its toll, my weekend running brings me back to life.
Running blesses me with that all important gift of spending time with myself.
Life often makes it hard for us to stay loyal to the one that matters the most: ourselves. We hear the voices of others clearer than we hear our own. Sometimes those toxic voices come from within. It feels like the ultimate betrayal. Our views get distorted.
A remedy for this is seeking solitude within our own heads every once in a while to rediscover ourselves beneath all of the layers of additional influence. Only when we’re in this blissful headspace do we remember our purpose which has – over the course of our lifetime – been gently nurtured despite the storm blowing in from the unpredictability of life.
When we positively embrace this time to have a conversation with ourselves, we recall what makes us happy, and what doesn’t. What we want, and what we don’t.
The air that I breathe in while running purifies my mind. It has given me the power to shout back at my anorexia.
Running is the love of my life, and since meeting it, I have discovered that my body is also worthy of unconditional love. Running has been the lifeline that has connected me back to my body, and for this, I can never thank it enough. It has saved my life.
I learned a long time ago that putting myself first does not make me selfish. The reliance to look after yourself and your body should fall on nobody but you. Essentially, at the end of the day, we are all we have. We get to share this life with one beautiful body. It should be treated with the utmost respect and admiration.
There are a thousand ways in which we can decorate, empower and celebrate our bodies. Learning about our bodies limitless capabilities is an exhilarating journey. Our bodies are the driving force behind our entire existences. How amazing is that?
In the past, I fatally satisfied my craving for instant self-gratification by starving myself and running my body into the ground with unnecessary amounts of exercise. Now, I get that quick-fix by going out for a run. I no longer run to punish my body; I run to honour it.
I make a habit of taking a few minutes out after every run to thank my body. I vow to never again take it for granted.
Over the past year or so, I have formed an unbreakable bond with my body. We’re a team, a partnership, and I won’t allow anorexia to come between us again.
I suffered an anorexia relapse in August 2019 and I have been battling ever since.
My body has taken on the wrath of self-inflicted torture, mixed messages, a war in my mind and on top of that, a knee injury which temporarily came between running and I.
But if you love something, you don’t give up, do you? So I didn’t. With dedication, I worked at the relationships that I have with both running and my body. It took time and patience, but my efforts prevailed, and all three of us came out fighting.
Since my last blog in January, I have run three half-marathons. Last week, I placed second female at ParkRun with a time of 21:45, taking the top spot in my age category and a position of 22 out of 210 runners overall.
I am quietly reaping the rewards of the relationships that I prioritise. A sign of a healthy, fulfilling relationship is that you get out what you put in.
The love of your life frees you from your shackles.
The love of your life feels like home, and where better to find home than within your own body?
Oh, nothing else compares. Home, where I wanted to go...
Clocks - Coldplay
Cara Jasmine Bradley ©