Recently, Running Woman had the pleasure of hearing Mandy's story, here's what she had to say, RW x
Running has changed my life.
Without it, I’d be stuck at home crying my eyes out.
I’ll never recover from losing my son, but I feel so much better since I’ve had a focus.
It’s helped me to get by.
Matthew passed away in March 2016 shortly after he had been diagnosed with leukaemia.
He was 19.
I miss him, and I think I always will.
My anxiety and depression worsened as a result, and deciding to run was an initial step towards improving my mental health.
That’s how I discovered the Wannabees.
They’re a friendly group in the town where I live that offers you a way to make a start.
I cried before I met them; I didn’t know anybody, and might have talked myself out of it.
Luckily, I didn’t.
Instead, I ran for two miles without stopping on the first night and smiled the whole way around.
The next day, those I met sent me a message to check how I was.
They were strangers then, and now I count them as lifelong friends that I happen to run with every Tuesday night.
I run on my own too because my self-confidence has risen.
The routine might change each week, and I take it day by day depending on how anxious I feel.
But even if I go just a short distance, it helps.
Half an hour later, my mood is lifted.
Running is my thing now; ‘me time’ is wearing my trainers and being on the move.
It has to fit into my schedule, and I’ve probably only missed a single week in the 18 months since I started.
I must say at this point that Running Woman is a huge part of the reason why.
When the pandemic gathered pace, the running club closed.
It’s started up again, but because of the restrictions the group sizes are restricted to six people.
I needed something to keep me going, and when I clicked on the button to join the community I had no idea how transformative it would be.
There are so many words I could use to describe Running Woman; inspiring, encouraging, supportive – the list is a long one.
I draw strength from the stories I read, and I told myself: ‘If they can do it, so can I.’
To see people posting from all over the world is really something, and there’s a lady from Canada – I’ve never met her – who always asks how I am.
It’s so uplifting, and I can’t imagine not being part of the group now.
I’d say the same about running.
It keeps me calm, and I love it.
My husband can’t believe the difference; setting myself goals, and achieving them my running as far as I do.
I’m proud of myself, and I hope Matthew would be too.
It’s his 25th birthday next year, and I’m training for a half-marathon.
He is my inspiration.
Notes from Running Woman
To find out more about the inspiring, encouraging, supportive community Mandy refers to, visit Running Woman community and join our worldwide community of amazing running women.