What was the first thing I did after handing in my notice in the middle of the bush in Zambia with 12 weeks’ notice of work? Well you would have thought something sensible like how I could get my luggage shipped back to UK without paying extortionate shipping fees or making arrangements for closing my bank account.
Well, it’s me so no I didn’t! First thing I decided to do (yes, remember I still had 12 weeks to go) was to get onto Google and search for a running club or similar to join when I got back. No idea why this was top of my priority list at this time, maybe I was in shock!
In a previous life (about 25 years ago) I did achieve a couple of half marathons and enjoyed exercise but whilst living in Zambia it was virtually impossible to run. Monkeys and baboons thought it was a wonderful game to chase me which scared the life out of me, I did not wish for their enormous teeth to be sinking into my ankles! What with that and the fear of bumping into an elephant or a leopard dropping out of a tree I think was a viable excuse not to run!
One of the reasons why I was returning to the UK was to find myself a social life again and meet like-minded people. I very much needed to get fit and heathy again as I had what one could politely call it ‘let myself go somewhat!’
It did not take me long to come across The Running Bug website and little did I realise how one click onto this site started a brand new chapter of my life and rescued me in so many ways.
This was the perfect site for me as I could see it had something for every level of runner and not overwhelming as can be with some sites. I could link to other people in the area I was going to move back to and looked like it would be a great way of getting my social life and fitness going on my return.
Profile filled in and I was signed up, one thing ticked off the list so I suppose it was time to do something essential like booking my plane tickets!
As the weeks ticked on I became an avid reader of The Running Bug and could not wait to get started on the actual running rather than reading about it as soon as I returned to the UK. It was encouraging to see that I had already connected with some people in my area and inspired me to see their progress and wanted to log my own Bug Miles!
I connected with a guy called Chau who lived very close to where I was going to return and we started up conversation, explaining to him my convoluted story of actually being local to him however currently halfway around the world. We continued to chat and found we had a lot in common other than running.
Upon my return to UK my first stop was a sports shop for trainers and sports bra (my absolute two essentials!) Then I started…
Painful at the beginning and I wondered why this was such a good idea as I alternated walking and running from lamppost to lamppost but with perseverance the ratio of running to walking to lampposts was improving.
It was time to post my first Bug Miles! About 3 miles in a pace just above a walk but it was great to see those miles logged ☺
‘Nice one for 1st run, is it hotter here than Zambia? ‘
This was Chau’s comment which was very kind of him as his pace is about 7 min miles and I was double that!
As I progressed so did our comments, from one sentence to paragraphs. The miles logged up and I was increasingly looking forward to finishing my run so I could log my miles and wait for Chau’s comments. Was this becoming more than just running?
A couple of times Chau said that we could meet up for a run. I really wanted to but I the thought of running with him terrified me as there would be no way I could keep up and I did not want to embarrass myself trying to keep up with this experience marathon runner. Now I know I should not have worried about that.
A month or so later and a little fitter and lighter Chau asked if he could call me.
That one phone call changed my life had changed for good.
Within a year of meeting him I am now a competent (an addicted runner!) with a number of Half Marathons under my belt and my first Marathon in the horizon (gulp!)
Within a year not only am I a proud owner of a new life, new house, 2 cats – Oh and a partner called Chau to share it all with.
Quick, I know but, the situation just seemed to be so we went with the flow and kept on running!
I could not have asked for a better person to share my life with who is kind, generous and motivating when I don’t think I can run one more step – he has the patience of a Saint!
A total lifestyle change with just one click onto the The Running Bug site...what more can I say!
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