On Sunday I ran in my first event - a 3 mile run for Sports Relief. I ran it with a friend and it was really good fun.
Since joining the running club we have gone up from the beginners group to the serious runners and I seem to have started going twice a week now. I meet such interesting people and you have plenty of time to talk in a relaxed way when you're running.
I have made friends with a lady who is a civil engineer in charge of waterways and reservoirs and she has worked in places such as Madagascar and Afghanistan. I asked her if they were surprised when a woman turned up and she said no, she had more surprised comments in this country, which is a bit sad. She has Alpacas and is going to come and see mine over Easter.
She is a Triathlete and her long term objective is to still be doing Triathlons in her 80's and she wants to be the first Triathlete to complete one at 100! She is a very inspiring person.
Running also makes me think about my breathing and I am more and more convinced that a lot of feeling content is down to good breathing. Shallow breathing makes me feel anxious and panicky.
I help with the local Riding for the Disabled once a week and was talking to a woman who had a stroke 7 years ago. She lost all her speech and the use of one side of her body, and one arm is still paralysed at the moment. I asked her if she had ridden before and she told me she hadn't and that she had started riding after her stroke because her diaphragm was partially paralysed and she couldn't breath properly. Someone suggested riding and she found that her breathing synchronised with the horse's and the horse taught her how to breathe again.
Another woman I have been very inspired and humbled by is in her 30s and went blind recently and very suddenly. She had never ridden before but decided to learn. She is rigid with fear every time but gets on each week and does it anyway.
These people take my breath away.
Here I am at the finish with my friend. The mayor is a friend of hers and she is going to help me get my Animal Soulmates charity going.
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