Miranda Sawyer on learning to exercise at midlife

…I went running. I ran a little way, then walked a little way, over and over, for 20 minutes. And when I got home, the serotonin rush was so strong, my head felt as though it was hosting a firework display. I wrote down how I felt: “I want to go up to strangers and lick their faces”; “I am Jesus in trainers.” God, I was so high.

Because of this, it occurred to me that I’ve had a fundamental fact about my life completely wrong. All the years that I spent going to nightclubs, I thought I was out of my head because of the music and the people and the stimulants. And, actually, I was out of it because of the exercise. Dancing all night: that was the rush.

Now I go running, round the park, twice a week. I wear my Lycra trousers and my trainers and I run very slowly, not much faster than most people walk… I have taken part in one race, a 10K, because I was asked to by an editor. I ran at a very slow speed (afterwards, I discovered that I was in the slowest 5% of runners). I didn’t stop, which I was very proud of, and I walked for a long way afterwards, trying to find a bus to get home. [link]


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