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  • Catherine Smith

Reflecting on 2023: becoming a runner

As we enter a new year I have been looking back at 2023. One of my biggest achievements last year was to finally become a runner. I have tried a number of times over the years to make running a habit, with no success, and have been consistently trying and failing at this since 2021. The older I get, the more aware I am that I need to be using my muscles, including my heart, to stay fit and increase my chances of living a long, productive life. In summer this year I decided to use everything I had learned whilst training to be a Health Coach to work out what was going wrong and what I could do differently to make sure I reached my goal. I am so happy to say that a brand new approach worked and I now run 4km twice a week, and best of all, I actually enjoy it. 

So why do I enjoy running?

Firstly, I am doing the aerobic exercise that was missing in my life, and I am definitely getting fitter, hopefully ensuring I stay healthier for longer. That's the reason I wanted to run in the first place.

But that isn't what keeps me doing it every week. Fitness alone isn't enough. So what is?

I get to spend time outdoors in nature, filling my lungs with fresh air, clearing out old, stale air.

I get to run through beautiful local woodland and parkland, watching the squirrels play, being in touch with the weather and tuning in to the changing seasons. At this time of year I can even time my runs to enjoy the most amazing sunrises.

While I run, I let my mind wander, I daydream. I have had some great ideas while running, which have just come to me as I let my mind relax - a totally unexpected benefit!

My slow, gentle runs feel like they literally dissolve stress. Again, completely unexpected, as I have previously always found running very unpleasant and stress-inducing!

The photo below is one I took on my coldest run, a chilly -2 degrees C, early on a Saturday morning in December 2023, the air still and my surroundings beautiful, with absolutely everything covered in a layer of frost. I was genuinely excited to get outside and feel what it was like to run in the cold, to find out how my nose, fingers and toes would cope! To feel the fear and do it anyway. It was cold, for sure, but I did it and I enjoyed it, it felt magical to be running through the frozen landscape.

I'd love to know, what was your biggest achievement in 2023? What would you like to achieve in 2024? If you are good at setting New Year's resolutions but not so good at sticking with them then Health Coaching could be the thing that makes the difference. If you have failed before, once or many times, then let me help you to do things differently this year and create new habits that will last. Whether you want to try Veganuary, dry January, get fit, lose excess weight or just get your health and energy back on track after overindulging at Christmas, I can help you to succeed.

Book a complementary Health and Energy Review with me now to find out how I can help you to build new habits that last.

Wishing you health, happiness and success for the New Year!


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