My mum moved to Inveraray about 10 years ago to spend her retirement here, and I visited frequently from London, where I worked. After my mother passed away very suddenly in 2011, I took a sabbatical year and spent it in her home in Inveraray, sorting out her affairs and re-evaluating what was important. I became quite depressed, and it’s now clear looking back that the running helped me get over a very dark period in my life.
During that year in Inveraray, I decided I wanted to take up jogging. I bought myself a pair of running shoes, and every now and again I would take a look at them, but wasn’t really quite sure how to go about becoming a runner.
One day, I saw notices for a beginners’ jogging group that was starting up, and I thought this was my opportunity. I was a little apprehensive, because I only knew a few people in Inveraray. But I went along to the session and everyone was really, really, friendly – I felt very welcome. Running in a group is so supportive and everyone encourages each other.
One of the things that I found surprising at this initial stage was hearing the Jog Leader, Fee, talking about entering races, but 12 months on I was running in the Crinan Puffer 8.5 mile run, and have since run in a couple of 10Ks and three half marathons.
Not only have I got a huge amount of pleasure from jogging, it has been really good for my health. I’ve lost around 10kg, which is particularly important for me, as I’ve had diabetes since the age of nine. I am sure that I have never been as fit and healthy as I am now and have never felt so good.
I now live in Inveraray full time and am back running with the group. Running has given me such great pleasure, and I know I wouldn’t be doing it without jogscotland.