Why I Run: Part 1 – Being Me

This week’s blog post is inspired by another blog post: Two Fat Comrades. It’s a blog post about why Helen runs and it really struck a cord with me.

Why I run - happy
I love running the coastal path when I’m back home in the North East. This is at Frenchman’s Bay.

When Ami started nursery I got a new set of friends, parents of other children at nursery, but rather than being Kassia I became Ami’s Mum. And I’m just as guilty as referring to other parents as ‘Hubert’s* Mam’ or’ Geraldine’s* Dad’. As my mam will tell you, I’ve always been independent – it’s a big thing for me to ask for help but perhaps that’s the Northern lass in me – so suddenly losing my identity like that wasn’t easy.

I took up running when Ami was 14 months old and it allowed to temporarily run away from my problems. You just put one foot in front of the other and run away from the child crying she doesn’t want mummy to go and you run away from the stress of trying to balance childcare, family and a full time job (don’t mention chores, they rarely got done).

Despite all that running away you end up actually running towards much more. You run towards being happier, you run towards being strong, and you run towards making new friends.

And it’s so easy: there are no opening hours, no queues (except in McDonalds after a Sunday long run with friends), no sweaty gym machines that people haven’t wiped down and no membership tiers. If you run you, are a runner, simple!

Note: I was about to write that there are no membership cards but my parkrun barcode discredits that theory.

We’ll skip the bit where I lapsed and didn’t run or do any form of exercise for 18 months (getting made redundant, setting up my own business, yada, yada, yada) and I pretty much still run for the same reasons.

I run to be myself, to have time for myself. If I’m running with friends then I’m Kassia, not Ami’s mam or Izzy’s mam, if I’m running by myself then I’m whoever I want to be – I have some great imaginary conversations in my head whilst I’m running – and if I’m listening to a music or a podcast then I can just switch off and not think about anything at all.

I’m not running away from myself: I’m running to be myself. It stops me getting overwhelmed and I’m the best person of me I can be. As a result Kev gets a happier wife, and Ami and Izzy get a happier mam and that can only be a good thing.


Why I Run: Part 2 – The Challenge

Going for a run is easy, training for a race isn’t, so why do it? In some ways the answer is simple: crossing the finish line of a race makes me feel unstoppable and accomplished; determined and strong; humble and proud.

Until next time…

Kassia Gardner




* Completely made up names