Why I Run.

Even when I was in the army I was never particularly fit, I mean yes I could Run, Tab and carry a lot of weight but I never pushed myself or found it interesting. Over the years I became less enthusiastic about doing Physical Training and after being diagnosed in 2009 with PTSD, Lets say life was a little different.

After returning home to my Dads house in April 2015, myWhen people find out I am a veteran and that I have done 4 tours of duty, they often say “At least you came home in one piece”. This isn’t the case at all and its a daily invisible fight against my injury’s. Once I left the army in November 2014 I was in a low place and didn’t exercise and ate A LOT.

With my new found love in running and being around my Family, my partner Judy, her two girls and friends I have never felt better. Although I know I will never be rid of PTSD I’m finally starting to control it; running has helped with this control. By setting targets that I wouldn’t dream of doing before they are becoming a reality.brother (Daz) thought it was a good idea to sign me up to my first half marathon in August. Weighing in at about 14.5st and being short I wasn’t in the best shape, body or mind. My brother and I would run to the football pitch at the top of the village and do sprints and runs, and after finding my new partner Judy I started to run a little further on my own and a few weeks before my first race I finally hit 9 miles.

My fitness is approving with each coming week and so is my mood. Mental health will always have a stigma surrounding it but with running I feel like I don’t have a disorder. I would say getting out and doing something is the start and people can build on it like I have, as running has helped me become more open about my challenges with PTSD. The day came for the dig deep peak district half marathon in August 2015 and in all honesty I was not looking forward to it! I slugged it around not thinking I could do it, but after 2 hours and 24 mins I crossed the finish line and nothing felt better!

So this is WHY I RUN the freedom, the fitness and the stress free environment; not to mention losing 3st in weight and the medals are great. I am starting to understand my PTSD better and can clear my head and with a massive community of runners out there with there own story about why they run, its a great place to meet new friends and promote the physical and mental health benefits of running.

Originally published on GingerRunningMan.com

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