It’s sad that it takes something devastating to open your eyes. To kick you up the backside and make you appreciate life.
For me it was two years of kidney related disasters, a journey through renal failure that saw my body and mind pushed to its limits, I was a 20 year old trapped in an 80 year olds deteriorating body. Months and months of dialysis, surgical intervention, hospital admissions, bags of medication and a failed transplant took its toll but I knew at some point I’d get the chance to live again!
When I finally received a successful transplant I knew that I might never another chance so wanted to live every second, unfortunately COVID had other ideas... I’d just been given this wonderful gift but once again I was trapped, a slight compensation was the rest of the world was too.
I had to keep fit while the world was close and really didn’t want to give up eating cake, so inspired by my partner I started running. I’d never been a runner, I’d never run more than 5km! I always wanted to be one of those people that laced up their trainers on a Saturday morning and perused out the door for an enjoyable jaunt through the countryside but I was never willing to put the effort in.
In lockdown it was easier to focus (there wasn’t much else to do) so I set myself the challenge of running 20km, something I’d never even come close to before.
It was hard and I was so very slow, I hated the days where I went out running. Sometimes I’d be ready to go out from 10am but not leave the house until 6pm. That’s a professional level of procrastination, how did I manage that in lockdown? I’m one of those people that just wants to be good at everything but as my partner Chris kept reminding me, you can’t just be good at running.
I stuck at it, three sessions a week turned into four, which morphed into five and now includes one cross training day. My 5k's went from 45 minutes to sub 30, my long runs got longer and my smile got bigger, my excitement for running blossomed.
When I completed my first half marathon in July I was pretty happy but I knew I could do more, I knew I could push harder not for speed but for distance. So I went home and with no race experience, no marathon under my belt and just 3 months of running I signed up for my first ultra. Insane? Probably, but I’m working so very hard. Not only is it a massive personal challenge but I can also try and raise money for two brilliant kidney charities that do so much to support patients.
I’m not sure how far a kidney transplant patient has ran before but I continue to love pushing my body and my brain especially now I’m in control. Although COVID completely halted my plans, life has rerouted me and without lockdown I wouldn’t of found this beautiful love for running and adventure on the trails.
Big thanks to Tara sharing her story and we're hoping you continue to love your running on the trails!
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