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Running from grief to hope

Some people start to run to keep fit or to lose weight. Others do this to give themselves a challenge. My running journey started for different reasons... more like a loophole.

In 2005, my life was turned upside down. In less than 6 months, two members of my family passed away. First my uncle, 46, then 3 months later my godfather, 52. Both died from a stroke. It wasn’t the first time that my family was facing this problem. We have a long history of diabetes and heart diseases. When I was a young child, my grandfather died of diabetes, but I was too young to understand. That year was different. It was a real alarm call.

Although my health was not immediately threatened, I felt I had to do something. I was eating relatively healthy but it wasn’t enough.

As a child, I had always practised different sports from Taekwondo to tennis. But despite all my parents’ efforts, I never got passionate about any of them.

Athletics was probably the only discipline that I got more excited about. Sprinting in particular, I found quite fun. At least at the beginning. Quickly, the atmosphere in my then club became viciously competitive. Then I wasn’t having fun anymore.

So I started to run on my own. I didn’t know where that would me lead to or how long I would do this. I just had to run.

It was hard. I lacked technique and endurance but I just kept going. At first, it was a way for me to clear my mind and to cope with the grief. Just like a therapy. Then, as I kept pushing, I started to feel the benefits on my body. I was finally reconnecting with it.

Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t always easy to find the motivation to do it. Winters in particular were tough. I had to fight against the wind, the cold and the daily temptation of crashing on my comfy sofa. But I always kept in mind the feeling that I would have after running.

As my running pace was improving, my life was also evolving positively. I continued to learn from other runners and perfect my technique. Before I realised it, happiness took over the pain. I felt more alive, more productive and more open to others. My life was moving forward again.

Running didn’t just help me to cope with the grief. It opened my mind to a myriad of activities and opportunities. I developed a passion for exercise and made fitness an integral part of my life.

It’s been twelve years now and I’ve continued to develop and achieve my fitness goals. Every time life gets difficult, I know I have something I enjoy and focus my mind on. And with help, you can find and achieve fun, personalised fitness goals for you too.

------------------------------------------------------------------------Thanks to Marie for opening up and sharing her reason to run.

You can follow Marie via Twitter - @RepNPepper and via her fitness blog - http://repnpepper.com

If you'd like to write a blog for us then get in contact via info@runr.co.uk.

Happy running and be proud to be a runr!

Team runr.

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