Steve had what used to be called a ‘nervous breakdown’ in his early twenties. Twice he tried to end his life by taking overdoses of sleeping tablets and needed to have his stomach pumped out.
Steve then was smoking 40 odd cigarettes per day, drinking round the clock and his idea of a square meal was a 6 pack of Mars bars, washed down with 7 or 8 pints. Severely malnourished, his weight had plummetted to 45 kilos – just flesh and bones, nothing much else.
Over the previous 6 or 7 years, exercise was like a foreign land which he very rarely visited. Steve was as low as you can get, totally devoid of hope, mentally and physically on his knees, with zero future. He just wanted the misery to end.
One day he just decided, he doesn’t remember why, to take the family dog out for a walk. He discovered that he didn’t feel quite as low when he got back. So he did it again the next day and again felt some of the misery lift a little.
After a few weeks he was walking further and further, the walks were lasting for hours instead of minutes. The poor dog was exhausted but, like Steve, looked better for the fresh air and exercise.
Steve doesn’t remember why or when exactly he started jogging, but he knew that it made him feel even better. All that anger and frustration with himself and the world was relieved by running. He felt a sense of complete freedom and release, a oneness with his body that he had never felt before. Funny because he had hated cross country at school.
Now he started sleeping better and eating better. His body began to rebuild and he realised that his experiences had actually made him stronger mentally than others. He was able to endure the pain and discomfort of running fast for long periods.
He got more serious, learned about how to train for running, how to eat etc. He did well in local fun runs, despite having abused his body so badly for so long. He joined a running club and discovered he was one of the better runners in the club.
Steve started performing well in good quality road races and often won small local races. He had gone from running 7 or 8 minute miles to racing at 5:15 to 5:30 pace over distances from 5k to half marathon (still his favourite distance).
Steve still runs today. He says he feels terrible if he misses a few days. He has never ever returned to the lows he experienced in his twenties.
He told me; “Running literally saved my life. It really is NEVER too late to start and you will find everything else much easier in life if you get into the habit of running regularly.”
Steve is a close friend and I can vouch for the accuracy of his true story.
Running is freedom.
Running is hope.
Running is life.
Don’t ever stop running – you were born to run.
If you are at your wits end, give David a call on 07504439555 and find out how running can improve your life.