WHEN I’m feeling down, I get my trainers on and go for a run. The simple act of putting one foot in front of the other and moving forwards, really does help lift my mood.
This week has been a particularly sad and difficult week. After losing my nan and granddad last year, we’ve slowly been sorting through their bungalow. On Monday we put it on the market to sell. I found this incredibly hard, because it’s so final. The only way I could cope was to run.
It’s not surprising that I’ve recorded my highest mileage in a long time. On Monday I ran with my friend Dave, catching up after his fantastic marathon (3 hours 50 seconds ish) at Manchester. On Tuesday Chris and I went off-road into Notton woods, followed on Wednesday by a good head clearing eight miles to Newmillerdam. My friend, Zoe, joined me on Thursday for a walk with our dogs.
Friday was a group hill session with my training group, but rather than blasting to the top of the hills, I was content to cruise/crawl up them. I just wanted to be out running. The pace, the speed, well, that didn’t matter at all.
For me, running has always been the best way to cope with whatever life throws my way. The science behind it suggests that a run will boost my endorphins, thereby lifting my mood. Whatever the science, all I know is that it works. A run has the power to make me feel better about everything.
It clears my head. It makes me feel happy. With all the sadness, I needed to feel happy. I needed to put things into perspective.
While I was running I thought of Nan and Granddad’s bungalow.
Within these four walls I have had some of the happiest times of my life. As a child, I remember running round the garden, hurdling Granddad’s rose bushes. I remember baking buns with Nan. Only the summer before last, we were racing Olivia on the lawn.
I’ve got so many happy memories of being at number three Plantation Avenue. It was such a happy home. In my mind I can picture every detail of the house. I can picture my grandparents moving around. Granddad faffing about in his garage.
When I looked at the photographs on Right Move I realised that it’s no longer my Nan and Granddad’s home. It’s a house, technically a bungalow. Their things aren’t there any more. Granddad’s walking stick isn’t propped up by the back door. Nan’s comfy cushion isn’t on her chair.
Seeing the bungalow empty made me feel better about saying goodbye to it. It’s hard to move on, heartbreaking, but it’s what we need to do. It doesn’t mean my family and I will forget, because we won’t, not ever. But we do have our memories, and they will stay with us.
The bungalow has been a happy home for my family. It will be a happy home again, for another family.