Everything has changed and yet I am more myself than I have ever been.
That's the thing about life, you don't expect certain things to happen and then suddenly you're stuck in a situation which “wouldn't ever happen to me”. You find it hard to see a way out. There was no way you could've planned for this. You don't know how it can ever be the same again.
But then almost as quickly as the darkness comes, you find the light. The black disappears. The sun shines again and you find yourself. Even with the thing that happened which wasn't supposed to. Even with the injury. Even if you can't run. I found myself as soon as I stopped looking. I found myself as soon as I realised I wasn't just a runner. I am a person. I am Heidi and this is just part of my story.
I started taking running pretty seriously when I was just eleven years old, a year seven starting high school. I became enthused with the sport. I had finally found something I felt I was destined to do. I loved the freedom it gave me. If I look back now the longest time I've gone without running since I was just eleven years old is probably just a week or maybe two.
Fast forward from my eleven year old self to August 2017. Nineteen year old Heidi, stepping off the plane back onto British soil with a head full of many more dreams after the most truly amazing experience out in Italy with the mountain running family. Little did she know that in two days time, it was to be her last proper run for just over five months.
Nevertheless those five months are months I'm actually very grateful to have experienced. I was able to find beauty in the struggle.
When I first got the news I was going to have to be on crutches my Dad sent me something which stuck: “Do not fear as you will return stronger. Do not forget all accomplished and a life transformed. Remember you did not fail.” I read it and burst into tears. All I wanted was to be able to run again.
Gradually, it got better. Slowly I got better, physically and mentally. I came to terms with what I was facing. I came to terms with the fact that I couldn't run. I accepted it. I found other ways to fill my time, other ways to inspire me. Some days I missed running so so much, it felt like part of me wasn't in place like maybe half of me was missing. But if I'm going to be brutally honest, other days I honestly found I didn't miss running at all. I'd grown to love the other ways I was able to be me. I found who I was without running. I think I forgot what running felt like. That's why today, when I ran for the first time in five months, twenty five minutes with pain free steps, I could not take the smile off my face. I was running and I suddenly remembered why I loved it. It was honestly the greatest feeling.
TODAY THIS HAPPENED!!!!! I have no way to put this feeling into words... Only happiness, gratitude 💛 pic.twitter.com/NmTMIu7BVM— Heidi Davies (@thepianorunner) 30 January 2018
I had missed the way running makes me feel. The feeling of being alive, out in the countryside with just your footsteps, your dreams and imagination for company. That flow, pure-state childlike wonder it gives you. The aliveness and energy. That was what I found I missed. Being able to pour myself into that. I'm so so grateful to have that back.
Not being able to run did cause me to fall apart a little yes, but then it was an opportunity to put myself back together and grow in other ways. An opportunity to be more.
I have rediscovered another love of mine, the piano. I've actually taken this one step further and become a peripatetic piano teacher. This is something I am truly enjoying. I love being able to help others to do and learn something they enjoy. It really is very rewarding and it's extremely heartwarming to be a part of someones' journey. Because that is what I have realised more than ever; everyone is on a journey. Sometimes in life, the path isn't so clear and you need a little helping hand from the people around you. Ultimately, everything is connected. It's through this connectivity to others, that we grow and flourish. People rise by lifting others after all. We are all connected. That's what makes us human. That's what makes life wonderful. I feel so full up right now.
I cannot thank the people around me enough who have helped me through the rocky past few months. You know who you are and your support means the world and more.
|Photo courtesy of inov-8... the all new X-TALON|
A dream, dancing again like a fairy… Now the reality, a runner again but I am also so much more…
Because I have lived without being able to run, I know I can live without being able to run. I can still be happy. It's all just a matter of perspective. I'm grateful to be alive, living this life with the best people around me. If you feel like you can make a tiny difference to even just one persons' life, then that is enough. We are all here, we all matter. Small differences add up. It all matters.
The dark times do come. They are in fact, inevitable. This is just a reminder to you that the light can be found. You are strong enough and you are brave enough. As you are. You are enough.
Life is huge. We shouldn't try to understand it. Just live it. Make the most of every moment and be insanely grateful.
Those that know me best know how much I love the cringe, but even I think that's enough cringe from me for one day. So for now all that's left to say is… yep you guessed it... keep dreaming…
|Looking over towards The Skirrid, near Abergavenny with Dad behind the camera|