I’ve a confession, I’ve not been running. I’ve spent hours in bed on my days off, not engaging with anyone. I think in part because I am worn out but also a bit peopled out. My job means talking for 12 hours a day, telling people about my break up over and over again. It makes it real, but sometimes reality is impossible
My Instagram came to be when my ex suggested that if I started talking about my running, became a run focused page I could get loads of followers and maybe get some rep- it would give me something to focus on while furloughed. Apparently I’m an “attractive woman” and would get “loads of attention”. It always struck me as odd that someone so possessive and prone to jealousy would say this- but it soon became apparent that it was something else to weaponise against me. But will save this for another day- this post is not about him..
I became “good at Instagram”. At first it was a positive force in my running. Posting about my runs forced me to push myself further, longer and tougher trails, getting faster. And yep, I loved the validation when I was told I was pretty or stunning- what woman heading towards 40 wouldn’t 🤷♀️
But as I slipped further and further into this well of anxiety Insta became a negative- if my run was slower than usual I would find myself apologising to me “fans”(my daughters words 😂), making up excuses as to why I had underperformed. I felt guilty if I didn’t run that day, like I was letting people down. Like I had to explain myself. I stopped pushing for fear of failure
Instagram was such a negative thing in my relationship too. He would, as I mentioned, use it against me in various ways- but the reality is that your relationship is never healthy if you both have your heads in your phones double clicking a strangers photos while your relationship crumbles around you. I think it makes you dissatisfied with your own life- it’s hard to view your partner, who you see warts and all, who lives in smelly Lycra, no make up. Who has hairy bits and rolls and imperfections, as the perfect person for you- when you are constantly comparing her (or him) to airbrushed perfection. You want what they have (he has).
Today I used insta for good, I’ve been chatting to lots of different people on there over the last few weeks and believe I have made some genuine friends. Andy (Yorkshire Runner) came over this morning and ran up Sharphaw with me. And despite me buggering off ahead it was lovely to have company.
I love Sharphaw, but since M left I have attempted it 2/3 times in my own and given up before I even reached the bottom, overwhelmed with this random anxiety at the climb ahead- but today I powered up, probably because I only ran 50 miles in April compared to 120-30 the previous months. I felt like I had a new spring in my step. Andy said I was a natural runner- something I’m used to hearing but always struggle to accept.
Hopefully this is a huge step in my recovery- I’ve also had an offer accepted on a house- which is even bigger but I’m struggling to write about it as it feels somewhat bittersweet- I’m so in love with my home now, it’s going to be hard to lose it- but I need the space and sanctuary of a fresh start.
Sometimes, the best views follow the hardest climbs.