I love running. That is not a sentence I ever though I would write. I started running last year in my late 40s. I was overweight and I have asthma – neither are indicators of a good runner. But both were the reasons to start running. My breathing was getting worse, so some cardio vascular exercise was needed. I was keen to make sure I build some muscle tone as I lost weight. Weight loss is about eating the right things, but exercise helps the muscles to increase as the fat decreases. Running was, frankly, cheap and convenient, but I hated every single run of the couch to 5k programme I followed. Every single one.
Still I persevered and just kept running three times a week for something between 20 and 30 minutes. One day I was in Plymouth on one of my regular visits and I ran along the sea front. And about 5 minutes in I thought “I love this”. That was it – my turning point, I remember it so very distinctly.
Today I am once again in Plymouth. Thanks to a warm night and a neighbouring seagull family who decided to start their morning routine at 4am, I woke up tired and bleary-eyed, but very quickly the thought that I had a run to look forward to popped into my head. And tiredness was put aside.
In fact, I interrupted writing this to go for the run, it felt weird to be writing about running when I really just wanted to be running.
I don’t love every run, but it’s a good life lesson. We can’t love everything we do, sometimes we just have to carry on and do it. But this morning was a great run – one too many hills at the end, but you know what, it just felt all the more satisfying. This is a run that also ends with a treat of coffee staring out to sea. Perfect.
A perfect run? Who would have thought I would ever write that?
I really didn’t think I really suffered from much FOMO until this evening.
I get it mildly when everyone is at a party except me. But I now realise that it is much easier to accept that I have chosen to do whatever else it is I am doing and to be really present in my evening out, rather than thinking on the one I am not part of.
I have yet to work out why people take such huge pleasure in telling me I missed a great night though. I may be too nostalgic and looking back with rose coloured glasses here, but I am sure that we used to reassure each other that “you didn’t miss much” or “oh it was the usual people saying the usual things” or “never mind, we’re all meeting up again next month, let’s make sure that date is right for you”.
Not so much any more. I think it shows that we are beginning to condition each other to make the fear of missing out bigger and more anxiety-inducing.
Nevertheless, I do a ton of very cool stuff, trying to do everything makes me ill and I prefer to be healthy and just do one thing thanks, so the FOMO has definitely dissipated as I have got older.
Except for when the sun shines. Then it becomes close to anxiety-inducing as I feel the need to spend as long outside as I possibly can. The current warm spell is exhausting me simply because I feel the need to be outside when I really want to be asleep in my bed. This evening I am away with work on the coast, so despite feeling travel weary and possibly a bit dehydrated, I had to walk along the seafront. And walk. Until I felt so tired and hungry I was getting a bit tearful. It still took a stern internal talking-to to make me go and find food and rest. I have even interrupted writing this to pop back outside to see the sun set. I couldn’t, wrong angle, but I did see the moon instead. But seriously! The sun will shine again, it will be warm again, why do I feel this desperate need to be outside for every possible moment? I am inventing a new ailment of fear of missing out on the daylight. It may hit those who live in the more northern areas of the country hardest.