The Ultimate Cliche! by Alicia Higham


The Ultimate Cliche

I am a massive cliche. I got engaged and started running in order to 'get in shape' for my wedding. When I say running, I mean dragging myself to a fairly manky gym near my office in London and punishing myself on a treadmill amidst the smell of sweat and what I can only conclude was a dodgy drainage system. I followed this horrible regime for a few months, fitted nicely into my dress and therefore achieved my goal of 'being in shape'. The wedding was great, the honeymoon even better and being in Italy involved wine and pizza in obscene proportions. That was two years ago. I never returned to the gym after the honeymoon and before recent developments, I hadn't run since. Told you: massive cliche. 

On June 24th 2016, new to Leighton Buzzard, I was standing on the station platform muttering into my phone about the Brexit result when I noticed a blonde girl next to me doing exactly the same thing. We lamented, worried and chatted all the way to London and this wasn't just a fling, no, this was the start of a beautiful commuter friendship with someone that went on to mention 'the running club' a few times (running club, ha! not something I would ever do, not me, nosiree, I didn't understand why anyone would want to run unless they absolutely had to). 

It took one Tuesday night social run that Alice coaxed me to for me to understand it. The penny dropped about half round when I was thinking, 'I need to stop, I can't do this' and someone, a stranger at the time panted at me, 'you're doing really well!' All of a sudden, I had motivation, positivity, energy even - could I do this? Yeah, probably (as long as they stuck strictly to three miles and let me have the odd breather). 

I realised very quickly that running in a group is a completely different, vastly preferable experience to running on your own or frequenting a nasty gym with Bieber on a loop at all times. In a group, you keep going for longer, not because anyone is forcing you but just because you're motivated to keep up and there's constant encouragement and good vibes. I'm still pretty new and I've only been on three social runs (and one park run, which I loved and banged that gong with panache), but already I've got to know people who I genuinely like spending time with and, added bonus, I've really got to know Leighton Buzzard! I had no idea before doing the run from The Hare, that there was a beautiful place to walk/run just five minutes away from my front door! I've also surprised myself with what I can achieve, ok it's not much to you seasoned marathon runners, but for someone that hasn't run since the week before their wedding in 2015, I've done ok! 

I'm still right at the beginning of my running venture, I don't yet see myself as 'a runner', hell, I still run in my pyjama top and own only one pair of running shoes, but I'm enjoying it. The lovely thing about LFR is that people are encouraging but not forceful, motivating but not intense. You don't feel daunted or judged, just happy to be involved and when you've finished, a teensy bit smug. 

I daresay I'm not the only person that was dead set against running, using it only as a means to an end at one particular time only to find that they actually quite like it and want to continue with it. So, still a cliche it would seem! But I think I prefer this kind.  


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