My first “fun run” in Kings Heath Park – how I did it

Why is a 5km run known as a fun run? That is a question I used to ask myself as I sweated it out on the treadmill – panting, smelly and desperate to sit down after a mere 3km’s interval training.

A 5km run is said to be for families and beginners. But despite years of working out at the gym, I would feel defeated after running little more than half that distance. “How do other people do it?” I wondered. “I can’t carry on any more…”

It all changed last Saturday

That was until last Saturday, when it was such a glorious spring morning I decided that instead of working out in the gym, I’d go for a jog around Kings Heath Park.

I had already found out that a figure of eight in Kings Heath Park is 2km, so I decided to do one and a half circuits and call that my workout for the day.

I started off. The frost on the grass was glistening like pearls in the low-morning sunshine. The bare trees stood in sculptural silouettes against the clear blue sky.   Tiny varieties of daffodils and snowdrops were peeping shyly from the earth.  The birds were calling to each other, reminding me of other dawns I had witnessed, other times when I am overwhelmed by the sheer sensuality of being alive. I completed one lap.

Praying on the second circuit

On the second circuit, replete with voluptousness, I decided to pray. I remembered a baby I knew who was in hospital, for one loop of the eight.  I thought about the people of Japan, for the second.  Every time I glanced at the roofs of the Kings Heath terraced houses, I would think of the people who lived in them, whose names I didn’t know but whose neighbourhood I shared.

“I’ve just run 4km,” I realised as I finished the lap.  “How come I couldn’t run 4km on a treadmill? Isn’t that a great example of the connection between body and spirit? Doesn’t that just show the fallacy of thinking of the body as a fixed, physical entity?”

And with that, I thought I may as well do another 2km circuit – and I did.

Comments: 11

  1. Virginia Moffatt says:

    Hi Jo,

    Fabulous post and sounds like a fabulous run.You’ve cracked it! The thing I love about running is that it gives me the time to pray, daydream, solve writing and work problems & I’m getting fit too. I would never run in the gym because for me running is about connecting with the outside world, feeling the breath of wind, noticing the changing seasons…

    Well done you, hope you’ve now caught the addiction (Best legal high I know!)

  2. Thanks for inspiring me Virginia. 🙂

  3. alia says:

    amazing piece Jo, so poetic, and artistic, I could see what you are describing. So true dear friend that it feels lonely and closed in the gym, and very open=spirited and active outdoor.Connecting with nature too as you described. Suddenly, you see solutions to unsolved old problems, remember forgotten friends. I love it.

  4. Thanks for the lovely comment, Alia. I went to the gym to do my weights today and I had no desire at all to get on the treadmill. I went to the park instead. It’s so nice to keep up with you through the blog. x

  5. Lara Williams says:

    I love your post Jo! Insightful.

  6. Thank you Lara.

  7. Physician Assistant Programs says:

    I wish I could still hurt on my is not very good for me these days.

  8. I’m sorry to hear that. There was a time when my health was such that I could barely walk, never mind run. I am always remember that with gratitude when the alarm goes at 6am and I set off for my 8k run. (I try to do 8k these days)

  9. Ellen Gracie says:

    This is really inspiring. I am moved by your story, Kings heath park is our nearest by far and is a great space for scooters, bike riding and ball games and most specially to just run. I find the place serene and I would have loved to join you on your 5km run. I run alone most of the time just me and my ipod.

  10. What a nice adventure around Kings Health Park! Jogging around it not only gives you fresh air and sound body, but it also gives you a time to nourish the soul. Nice post!

  11. Thanks Tim. I’m still trying to figure if Kings “Health” Park is a typo or not. 🙂

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