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I was asked, recently, why I started running again, after giving up about 30 years ago, so here’s my story…

 
​All those years past, tragedy struck and I was given a cigarette to “make me feel better“. This started me straight back onto the addictive nicotine habit again until five years ago, at the age of 59, when I suddenly realised that the coughing was getting bad and that smoking was controlling and slowly destroying and shortening my life.
 
I needed something healthy to take its place so started gentle running again.
 
Runner Feature - Jackie Swain RunThrough Running Club London

It’s strange: I lived in a picturesque country village at the time, and could not set foot out of my house unless I had my upbeat running music poised in my ears and the “running app” lady ready to tell me “well done, one kilometre, at a pace of the snail and tons of minutes time lapsed“!

 

It was nearly 2 years ago that I was diagnosed as bipolar. It was a terrible time in my head (one euphoric lady battling with her death wish suicidal twin), only relieved by getting my running shoes on and pounding the quiet country hills whilst either screeching with laughter aloud or screaming from crying. I was told that I MUST take the prescribed anti psychotic drugs or there may be a time when I’m sectioned. Never one to be bossed, I threw them away and came to realise how much running seems to help my mental state to calm and make me feel so good.

 

Since moving back to the London I missed (with all the skyscrapers, busy people to wind in and out of, cold and wet winters where living is wonderfully grey and stark), I now can’t run with music or someone timing me. I head off, taking in all the sights, turn whichever road takes my fancy at the time (in the time frame I have) and think about the world around me only.

Runner Feature - Jackie Swain RunThrough Running Club London

When I can, I come to RunThrough events, to catch up with a lovely friend who takes part and to be around the wonderful friends I’ve made from being involved. All these friends have an amazing empathy that brings us all together. This fantastic company seem to have created a very special running family. The organisers seem to know everyone personally and offer encouragement with every breath. All the volunteer stewards lift and push our spirits if they start trying to abandon us. It’s a unique and very special company that should be very proud of what they’ve achieved!!!!

 

I’m sure that I have an addictive personality and running seems to have become a bewitching necessity in my life.  If it makes me smile, makes my day start in a positive way, I doubt it can be that bad an addiction! I don’t worry or care about my speed but I’m now training for my second half marathon so am upping the miles. Bring it on!!!!