Dear Bee, who is your running buddy?

I’ll be honest Bee, I don’t like running; I find it painful, tedious and exhausting. But I still try and get out at least twice a week. Why? Well, cake is a big motivation…but even the thought of the chocolatiest, fudgiest slice isn’t enough to make me pick up my pace and push myself to go further and faster.

I need something else for that.

Once a week there’s a thing called parkrun. If at 9am Saturday morning I am gathered with approximately two hundred other lycra-bright people at Sconce Park, I have defeated the (very persuasive) inner argument that a cosy, warm bed is the best place to be at that time in the morning, and have donned my own dayglo pink jacket and trainers, ready for the 5km run. But it’s not the promise of the creamy, sugary confection later that day that will get me there, preparing to beat my last personal best.

I need something else for that.

When I’m halfway through the second of the three laps around the parkrun route, being lapped by the man-machines that make it in under twenty minutes (how??) and my legs are burning, my chest is heaving, every breath is a desperate gasp for life and that (very persuasive) voice is telling me to stop, walk, rest – anything to make the pain go away – it isn’t the idea of a mouthful of tangy, tart lemon drizzle loveliness that keeps me going and push through until I get to the finish line.

I need something else for that.

It’s the voice in my ear that makes the difference.

Quite literally, I stick an earphone in my ear and listen as I run to songs on my running playlist that tell me I am Gold, that I am Unstoppable, that there are No Chains on Me. Songs like this with energy, positivity and voices that counter my own disbelief, lift my eyes from my feet to the finish line. These are what keep me running.

Bee, there are always going to be voices around you. Which ones are going to make you lift your eyes from your feet to the finish line? Which ones are going to cheer you on and help you reach for what is beyond yourself? They are there, Bee. In the books you read, the music you listen to, the people you hang out with…find the voices that are good for you and make them your running buddies. Take note of the words that remind you of your amazing uniqueness. Listen to the encouragement that helps you believe in your dreams. They are the ones that will get you out of bed on a cold morning, determined to run your personal best.


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