This is a guest post by Siun Dunne
Have you ever heard of passive running? If not, allow me to explain. Even though running has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, it’s been a passive constant, my mother has been running for over 20 years. She ran, and still does run, socially. To some, the concept of running socially, like running passively is paradoxical as many perceive running as a solitary pastime. Saturday mornings in our house would prove the opposite; it’s quite the hub of stretching, discussing routes and chit chattering.
While I have apparently gotten most of my mother’s genes, the running gene (I’ve just created a gene!) managed to transcend my genetic makeup. It wasn’t until I decided I wanted to give the running thing a go that I realised just how hard it was. Not only was I physically unready, but also and even more challenging, my head was unfit for the run. Shoving myself out the door, was a trial in itself which involved lots of bartering, arguing and threatening myself. If I didn’t go, I berated myself, was frustrated and disappointed, and the guilt would linger over me. When I did manage to get out there, while I could run, I could never say that I enjoyed my time on the roads. I never revelled in the headspace I had heard so much about.
It wasn’t until I joined Tina’s running club that I realised that I, like my mother, needed the sociability to get me going. I joined in late October last year, without knowing anyone else, and being a little shy and nervous. The obvious insecurities plagued me; not being able to keep up the pace was the one that had me very nearly doing a very illegal U-turn 4 minutes before the first meeting. The girls welcomed me immediately and accepted my ability and pace without making me feel like I was holding them back (which I probably was!)
After a few weeks of lagging behind, almost losing my breath and not knowing the routes, I became a little more comfortable. I upped my attendance from once a week to two nights and that’s when I feel, I turned the corner. The second weekly run made running a regular habit for me, a constant in my life.
A year in, running is now a real part of my life, the doubt and insecurities have dissipated. I genuinely look forward to going, meeting the girls, chatting about routes, running gear, weekends, children and everything in between. While some of the members have run 5ks, 10ks and half marathons, most of us are there for the healthy habit and the sense of fulfilment.
I began as a leader recently when the brilliant Gillian left for Canada. I’ve enjoyed welcoming new members, meeting more people, and encouraging the runners within these women. I’ve realised that satisfaction isn’t always easily achieved in life, but running is one such area that provides satisfaction and in turn, breeds confidence where before, there was none. I love playing an active part in that little miracle.