Sometimes running is meditation. Sometimes running is reflection. Tonight running was about gratitude.
Here are 10 things I felt grateful for as I ran across London tonight. 1. That I physically can. It still astounds me that my body is capable of this running malarky. For so long I have compared, disliked and disparaged my squidgy torso, my flabby white limbs and my gangly arms. But here they are – beautiful in their defiance! – stubbornly propelling me across the earth with relatively little protestation. I don’t deserve this body, but I truly am lucky to have it. 2. That I actually am in London. Some days, London life feels hard and grey. But others I see it for the miracle it is. As a child growing up in country Australia, I could never have imagined the life I have now in this beautiful city. To have such culture and opportunity literally on my doorstep is indeed a luxury. 3. That I am free and wealthy enough to spend time simply exploring my city. I’m not fleeing war, or working three jobs to keep a roof over my head. Finding time to exercise sometimes seems difficult, but in reality it is extremely easy. 4. That it gives me the opportunity to see and experience areas of London that I wouldn’t normally see. Our view of the city is so often shaped by the places we live or work, and the rest of our knowledge is in small bubbles around major tube stations. By running I am slowly joining all the dots, building a much clearer view of the city as a whole. 5. That when you are hot and sweaty, it isn’t that much of a drama that it is cold and rainy. You are wet anyway. A bit more moisture doesn’t make a difference. 6. That running can actually be faster than other forms of transport. There is something immensely satisfying about running past queues of drivers sitting unhappily in their cars. And for the 11 miles I ran, it was only marginally slower than catching public transport the whole way. 7. That I am one of the only people out here enjoying the city. As darkness descends people scuttle off, and the parks and residential streets feel like they are there just for you. 8. Everything looks better in the dark. The grimey streets of London seem clean and quiet once the darkness descends. And the warm light emanating from even the dingiest pubs and houses make them feel cosy and appealing. 9. That I have a nice warm house waiting for me at the end. A hot bath is never as good as when you’ve just been out doing vigorous exercise in the cold and wet. 10. And last but not least, there is no better way to earn a Friday night treat! Sometimes the best part of a run is refuelling so you can get back out there and do it all again tomorrow.