Writer with a strange name

Should it be so terrifying to jog in the Winter?

Jogging is a great form of exercise that requires only three things:

Me, Myself and I.

There is no need to fork out extortionate fees for a gym membership or think about when to is the best time to run according to your work/train schedule. You just put on some trainers or sneakers, or whatever else you want to call them and… run.

Running daily is a great way to lose weight, improve overall heart health and enhance your lung capacity (the last benefit would be helpful if I knew how to swim). So why do I hate it so much?

To run consistently requires a lot of discipline, focus and a love of the outdoors in some cases. Running requires you to be alone with your thoughts for long periods at a time with nothing to take your mind off the arduous and sometimes tedious mission you have ahead of you. No checking your phone every five minutes just… run.

Knowing that, I set out with a plan to wake up early to take my two dogs out to the park so they could be as free to run out in the open as I was. However, this plan was foiled by the fact that parks have no lights. I went to all 5 parks withi my little dingy town in Essex and no one light was present. Only those that illuminated the shadows from the far side of the main road.

I was honestly struck with astonishment.
I was running with my music off and one eye over my shoulder at all times.
There was an incomparable and erratic paranoia that overwhelmed me.
It was fight or flight and I was more than prepared for flight.

I wonder how many people feel this way, I wonder how many men have turned away anxiously from a park despite their efforts to keep fit. I wonder how many women have held the same fear of being raped and killed so close to home. I wondered how relatable yet unfounded my fear was?

As the winter drags on, the sunrise does not occur until 8am these days, should I let my fear stop me from conquering my fitness goals? Should I resign to running in the gym rather than out in the fresh air?
Or should I quell my paranoia and head out into the sinister cold of the dark before dawn? My mother would tell me No.

Fitness in winter can be hard, the cold is harrowing, the dark is terrifying and the light is reluctant to shine brightly on our Vitamin D deprived skin. However, in the words of Maya Angelou… “Still I rise.”

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