Running has impacted my life in ways words often struggle to describe. I don’t recognise my old self, seeing and feeling the changes in myself and my life makes me feel empowered. Having The Running Charity by my side every step of the way has ensured I kept moving forwards, finding joy, support, and encouragement even in tough moments. I have benefited so much from running but without The Running Charity I wouldn’t have made it to where I am now.

Running Stories: By Runners of All Ages, Speeds and Backgrounds

Running Stories: By Runners of All Ages, Speeds and Backgrounds

All my childhood I had been around abuse and neglect. Growing up I experienced injustice, being let down and overlooked by all who could or should have helped me when I needed it the most. I was put into foster care where I began to run away, I found refuge in drugs and alcohol which only put me in more vulnerable and dangerous situations. As an adult, areas of my life did begin to improve until I landed in an abusive relationship that would destroy me and my view of the world. The abuse was severe, constant and caused me to lose my chance at being a mother. This was the final straw for me, there was nothing more they could do to hurt me and I finally had the will to escape, which was far from easy. They began stalking, harassing and attacking me online. With help from the police I was able to get a restraining order which meant the abuse finally stopped for the first time in two years. I should’ve felt free, liberated, strong but I never felt more alone, scared and hopeless.

From being isolated, scared, anxious, suicidal and abused, to confident, supported, happy and free has all been thanks to The Running Charity. I never saw a way out for me, I struggled to see a life where I’d be happy, able to cope or could be free from the damage of my past. Through running I have found constructive coping mechanisms, a positive outlook on life, support network/community, a life-long hobby, goals and so much to look forward to.

The support of The Running Charity was something I didn’t know I needed, having dealt with trauma on my own and not knowing this support, kindness and inspiration existed in the dark lonely world I was living in. The Running Charity made all the difference, restoring my faith in humanity, showing me a way out of even the darkest of places and taking this journey with me.

The mental benefits of running have been phenomenal. Now I have seen it first-hand in myself and people around me, I am convinced almost anything is possible. The physical benefits surely followed, I’m in the best shape I have ever been, healthy, free from addiction and regularly active. Working through levels of fitness, I am constantly progressing and realising we are so much stronger and more capable than we know. It always seems impossible until it’s done.

Jerry Carey is one of 88 contributors to the new inspirational book Running Stories. Available now, all profits going to The Running Charity.

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If you were running towards something positive- then you might be heading on the right track towards a specific goal in your waking life. It could be symbolic of your ambition and your keenness to confront things head on- even more so if something is running towards you and you don’t turn around and flee. Think about what it was that you were heading towards- it might be telling you what you really want in life. If you were running towards something negative- this could be a sign that you are being drawn back to bad things- habits, people or situations...