Earlier this year I completed the London Marathon, in the process not only achieving one of my lifetime goals, but also raising £2000 for the young people's charity 'vInspired' in the process. vInspired are the nation's leading youth volunteering charity and provide young people with opportunities to gain new experiences and skills by taking action on causes they care about. Social action and volunteering is something I care a lot about, and when not running (!), volunteer my time in my local community. vInspired personally supported me to develop my own voluntary project - Abbey Lion Cubs FC - which has now been running for two years and provides free football for young children every Saturday morning. Although this does limit my Park Run opportunities (!) it is extremely rewarding and I am continually proud of the achievements of the young people involved and the project itself. Following my London Marathon journey vInspired recently asked me to write a blog post for their website entitled '5 Reasons Running is Good for the Soul' and this is what I came up with:
By simply lacing up your running shoes, stepping out the door and starting to run, the world is your oyster. You can roam through the countryside, visit new parks, or just nosey down streets in your neighborhood! Creating running routes has allowed me to explore many areas of my hometown, as well as new places in the UK by taking part in various running events. Running gives you the freedom to really observe what is around you and take in your surroundings.
Running is an activity that gains you a lot of respect from others. People admire your commitment and dedication, although sometimes they may think you are a little crazy for pulling on your trainers at 6am in the morning! I often find that through running I have inspired others to give it a try, or at least be more active, which is a really positive feeling.
3. Me Time
Running gives you time to think and a chance to enter you own world of thoughts for a while. Running can help you switch off and just focus solely on putting one foot in front of the other, and is also a great way to relax. I love going for a run in the evening after work as I find it is the only way I can really unwind and refocus.
4. Running Friends
Running is a great way to make new friends and also strengthen your bond with existing friends. Through running you share the same loves, the same issues, the same ambitions, and are able to act as a support network to each other when the going gets tough. Running has given me a collection of wonderful memories of the friends I run with and the times we have shared together.
Running is a challenge which can be tailored to each individual. You can choose to push yourself as much or as little as you feel, set your own goals and experience the delight of completing them. Hitting a target after weeks of hard work gives you an immense sense of pride, a feeling which I truly felt when crossing the finish line of the London Marathon this year.
You can read the full blog post here and also find out more about vInspired:
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...