Dear Body,

I appreciate this letter is long overdue. Over the last few months I’ve heaped more pressure on you than ever before and I never really took the time to say thank you and well done…

Letter to my body

You really do deserve some appreciation and recognition. And before you start, yes I know I write a lot about appreciation and recognition as a ghost writer for one of my clients, so yes, I should know better.

I’m sorry and you deserve better.

But I’m not talking about all the marathon training I’ve piled on you; the long, long runs of over 22 miles, speedwork, hill work and parkruns. It’s the other stuff that I’m really sorry about.

You know what I’m talking about; the disapproval, the picking you apart. This bit needs to be improved, that bit could be better. Your arms are too flabby, your skin isn’t perfect, you have grey hairs and dare I mention the thighs? Hmm, perhaps not.

Thankfully these days I’m less concerned about your superficial aspects. And it’s a good job too since I’ve previously forced you to live off alcohol, cake, fizzy drinks and crisp sandwiches. I’ve coloured your hair, fried you in the sun, tattooed you and kept you awake until tomorrow morning. I’ve berated you for not being fast enough, for walking when I wanted to run, and for breaking under the strain of training for a half marathon in just four weeks.

I’m sorry for beating you up and at times doubting you.

Apart from the odd niggle, ache and pain to remind me you’re still there you’ve held up very well and never complained, even when I’ve pushed you to perform when you really needed rest. In fact you’ve always done what I’ve asked of you, which is something my kids have never done.

You may be fed up with me and a whisker away from packing your suitcase and leaving but I am genuinely amazed at how brilliant you are. I love your strength, your courage and your ability to keep going even though that silly mind is telling you stop. You don’t listen and you keep on going and going, you’re my own personal Duracell battery. I’ve learnt that given a chance you can achieve the most amazing things.

I glory in how you feel. How you feel the wind, sunshine and rain on my skin – although I think we can both agree to dislike the feel of hailstones on bare skin. I revel in how you make me feel after a great run and how after a bad run you’re still willing to give it another go.

I’m really looking forward to growing old with you, and I apologise in advance for the abuse you’ll get in the next seven months as I train for my my first ultra marathon.

You know I don’t make New Year resolutions but I do promise to try and do better: to be aware of what I put into you, to listen to you when you are hurting, and to rest when you need it. I will mess up and make mistakes – I would be a fool if I said I would never abuse you again – but there’s no doubt, when we work together we make a great team!

You are stronger than I think. You’re my inspiration. And that’s why we should always, “Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful.”

Until next time…

Kassia Gardner