I’ve started to ask friends and relatives who are keen runners why they do it, to understand other people’s drive and motivation for running. The first in the series is my inspirational former PE teacher and mother-in-law Pam. We’ve run together on a number of occasions and she’s a true cheerleader for anyone wanting to move and be active. Here are Pam’s thoughts on running…
Me on the left, the 2018 Great North Run. I wish I could tell you a story of a wonderful inspiring run. However it was agony as I pulled my hamstring after two miles and had to limp my way round with my friend Barbara encouraging me all the way. I trained properly for this event and got reasonably comfortable with longer distances, I warmed up so no obvious reason why this should happen…. maybe tension and waiting so long at the back for the start. Very frustrating as doing it again looms over me to try and get a better time and feel the love a little more. Raising money was the key for me at a milestone age of sixty and the event is so inspiring, people of all ages, shapes and sizes doing an amazing job of fund raising for their chosen charities.
I have run on and off most of my life, joining an athletic club aged nine and sticking with it until boys became the object of interest in teenage years. However, I then trained as a Physical Education teacher. What could be better than a job that includes physical activity all day, with a subject I felt passionate about, and students that on the whole were wonderful and enabled me to have a career that I look back on with very fond memories.
A family highlight for me was running one of the Lakeland trail runs with my two lovely daughters, Alison and Hannah. A beautiful setting and although tough, a real joy….especially as unbeknown to my youngest daughter Hannah she was in the early stages of pregnancy. We stayed together on the run with a sense of unity and knowing that this was a special moment in time.
I think while I still can I will run, it’s something I have to make myself do these days but feel so much better after. I no longer run ‘lightly’…it’s a bit of a stomp, but the conversation in my head is getting better. I try to stop being inside my head and ‘take notice’…any distraction is great and a companion helps. Barbara (beside me in the photo) is the best running companion you could wish for, reads my pace perfectly and knows when to push and when to just get me from A to B. I am incredibly lucky to be active and lockdown has given the opportunity to make it an absolute priority.Pam Bayston February 2021