A spring in my step

It’s a Sunday evening and I’ve once again indulged in a weekend of excess: prosecco, pasta, hot chocolate (from THE BEST chocolate shop in London FYI) and those delicious but dangerous caramelized nuts sold by dodgy looking blokes by the side of the road. Don’t judge me. This is usually the recipe for a guilt-suffused Sunday evening – but instead of my usual bluesy mood, I feel swing-around-a-lamppost-gallop-down-the-pavement fantastic.

No, I didn’t just convince the King to buy me a kitten or find the perfect ethically-made palazzo pant (still searching). Nothing quite so dramatic. I went for a run. Not a remarkable achievement by any stretch of the imagination. I run all the time. But this run was special. It was different. It was the fastest I’ve run since the end of last summer. Pop the prosecco and pass the electrolytes!

Incidentally, today was also the day the clocks went forward. The first day of spring, in my book. I may have lost an hour’s sleep but I gained something altogether more important – evening light. Oh evening light, how I adore thee. Now when I walk home from work, the sun will still be shining (okay, maybe not shining, but it won’t have set yet). Through losing an hour, I somehow feel as though I’ve gained more time. There’s also a hint of warmth in the air – and for the first time in a LONG time, I ran sans jacket. That’s right: I was outdoors for an extended period of time in a T-SHIRT. I can’t believe it. It’s nothing short of a miracle. Last week there was snow on the ground. Now this? The removal of that one thin layer felt like a huge weight off my shoulders.  

Somewhere towards the end of last summer I lost my running mojo – and the enthusiasm to really go for it – complacently plodding along at a comfortable pace, never really losing my breath or bringing up my heart beat. It’s a nice feeling – being able to run without feeling as though you might actually just drop down and die then and there – and I’ll always be an advocate for a gentle amble. But as the saying goes, use it or lose it. I was, it’s fair to say, beginning to lose it.

I didn’t plan on running quickly today. In fact, seeing as I practically inhaled a bottled of prosecco the previous evening, I’d planned on one of my favoured ambles around the park. But as nature wakes up from its winter slumber, it’s as though I’m waking up too: my body in tune with the world around me, reacting to the influx of light and warmth much like a flower bursting through earth. Spring has sprung and in tune with the new season, I have a new-found spring in my step.

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Sarah Barratt