On Inkluded I normally just blog about tattoos, but one of my other interests… used to be… running.
I have blogged before about the similarities between getting tattoos and completing a run. I have also written about the re-finding and re-discovering of yourself experienced in both being tattooed and jogging your ass off.
Anyway, today I have felt compelled to write about that dreaded R word again, and continue to do so in a regular fashion. But why?
Well, I’ll start at the beginning, shall I?
Running and fitness used to by a really important part of my life. Long story short, I was overweight (and more importantly, unhealthy) in my late teens/early 20s, until I discovered this weird, awful thing called ‘exercise’ aged 21. I instantly fell in love with how it made me feel. Ten years on from being a compulsive ‘I’ve forgotten my kit, miss’ liar (we know who we are), I was going to the gym 4-5 times a week and feeling pretty good.
I got so geeky about fitness that it led to my eventual role as ambassador for sports nutrition brand Maximuscle (now called Maxinutrition). This feels like SO long ago now that I can’t even find any photos on my PC except the horrendous one below on Google Images (I know, it’s really me, I promise!)
For the next few years, my passion for running grew and in September 2014 I completed my 3rd marathon – in Loch Ness, Scotland. It was unbelievably difficult. I hadn’t trained adequately, drank a fair few pints of ale the night before and the route was horrendously hilly. I completed it (just) but injured my chest muscles and decided to have a break from running.
ALONG COMES THE TATTOO BLOG!
Lack of hobby = free time = starting a blog = loving said blog = forgetting about original hobby = one pretty un-fit girl 1.5 years later.
It’s been completely worth it. I wouldn’t swap my ink for miles, any day. Tattoo writing and blogging has become such a part of my soul and being in ways I will not begin to describe here. It’s changed many of my attitudes, friendships, ambitions, passions and even my career.
But I’m starting to feel like one lazy tattooed potato. Having recently become self-employed (wah!) and taking on 6 different non-tattoo and tattoo part-time projects (yay!), I feel the impending presence of a freelance tattooed hermit whose pink plastic nails tap away on a laptop 10 hours a day, 7 days a week, never to see the light of day again.
My boyfriend fully supports my self-immersive writing obsession but humorously likens me to the below moment in Family Guy (thought I would share this as it’s very funny and scarily accurate).
To save the potential looming deterioration of my glitzy acrylics this Sunday, my boyfriend encouraged me to join him for a short 2/3 mile run around the park near our flat.
Having done 3 or 4 short (less than 6 mile) runs since the 2014 Loch Ness Nightmare, I knew I was going to find it tough, so we took it easy and walked most of the way.
As always, walking made me think, which has now made me blog. Should I get back into running? Why bother?
In my original running-revelation blog post, I realised that getting out of the house and in the fresh air is important for self-reflection. But it’s obviously not just about that.
If jogging’s jolly contemplation was so rewarding and vital, I’ve have gotten off my ass since that pensive blog 9 months ago, but I haven’t. So, it can’t be that that I fell in love with all those years ago.
Having made the decision this year to work self-employed, I’ve been able to evaluate my past career decisions… jobs I have had, hated, left and loved. I’ve done a lot of different things in my working life and always push myself to achieve the best I possibly can. It’s why I have never worked at one company for more than a couple of years… I always see the next opportunity, and just go for it. As tattoo artist Angharad said in our interview this week… JUST DO IT. I’ve always just DONE IT, whatever IT may be. And running was no exception.
I want to re-discover running in order to feel fit, healthy, be outside and get the blood pumping through my veins – there really is no better feeling. It’s nothing to do with weight loss, looking good, updating apps, or sharing stats with friends… it’s about getting your life juices flowing.
I realised whilst out today that it’s just not in my personality to do that on a casual basis. When we got to the final hill on today’s ramble, I waited at the bottom for a few minutes, and looked to the top (dripping in sweat and “hyperventilating” apparently – boyf’s wise words).
Fuck you, hill. I gasped. I WILL get to the top of you!
I have loved running all these years because of that feeling. The sensation of finishing an event like a marathon, or climbing a hill, allows me, no INSPIRES me, to conquer absolutely anything that life throws at me.
We all have those shit moments in life – when you feel like you don’t want to go on, will never be who you want, and can never achieve what you truly want. Placing structured running sessions into your routine motivates you to push only positive thoughts to the forefront of your mind. Most importantly, it motivates you to conquer anything in the world you wish.
When I ask myself… “why bother?” I will remember that notion. Surely there’s no better manta than that.
Words: Beccy Rimmer
Categories: Tattoo Thoughts