My Father smoked 40 a day until his dying day, I’m breaking the family tradition this year.

One of the Doctor’s first orders was to quit the cigarettes. The fat clogging my arteries was putting undue strain on my heart, so I needed to stop.

running-10My Aunt Beryl moved down here, from her family home in Dagenham, when she retired in her 60s. She was a hard worker in her time, a line manager in a packing factory who commanded respect amongst her colleagues and friends. Although she’d loved living in London, she had always dreamed of leaving the big city and retiring to the countryside. Her dream of living the good life was realised 20 years ago when she sold her little flat in the city and bought a cottage in the Cornish seaside town of Padstow.

When the time came for me to escape the city, and the toxic lifestyle I had been living, Aunt Beryl’s was the only option. She had plenty of space in her home, even for a big lad like me, and was more than willing to accommodate an extra guest.

old-ladies-vapingBeryl had been a smoker for almost all her life too. Growing up in the 50s, when over half the adult population smoked, it was ingrained into both her social and professional life. A resilient old bird, she’d never suffered from any of the negative side effects that the habit often saddles people with. However, as the years wore on, and she realised that she would be living well past 80, she started to worry about her guilty pleasure rearing it’s ugly head – putting an end to her peaceful retirement plans.

When I’d told her I had to quit, she jumped at the opportunity to join me. So began our journey to a smoke-free life, one that would have ended as soon as it began, if it weren’t for this handy little gadget:

Vaping Store

It’s an electronic cigarette and it might just be the thing that saves my life.

An old friend from London came to visit, he brought with him a couple of these vape pens – as gifts.

He brought back news that life had changed quite a bit back at The Nag’s Head. Since my departure, several of the locals had cut down on their drinking (much to the dismay of Barb, behind the bar) and quit smoking as well. With the Winter months coming in, many of them joked with each other that it was better to stay inside to vape, than step out into the cold to smoke. Regardless of their rationale, it sounded like my incident had scared them into attempting to ditch some of their bad habits as well.

Although Beryl and I have only been vaping for the past month, I’m already starting to feel like I can breathe a little deeper. The daily walks have been getting progressively easier and I’ve already lost a stone on my new diet.

I may have a long way to go yet, but at least I’m taking steps in the right direction.

 

 

 …

The runner must care for themselves.

Running is not everything, it doesn’t solve everything, it cannot be the only thing you do to your body, you have to care for your body in all ways, in so many ways, in essential ways.

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You must remember that only a fool believes he can do it all, that an idiot rejects the fact that he does not have access to all things and all knowledge.

Not everything is conquerable by the power of your intuition alone, sometimes you need information and knowledge that you just don’t have. That is your burden: the burden of having to have the wisdom to recognise your own weaknesses whilst trying to build your own strengths.

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Can you go and look for someone who knows more than you and get there help?

Can you drop your pride and do that? Because I know it can be hard. Like running up a mountain. It can be hard like building a house. It can be hard, that is for sure, it can be hard. But it doesn’t matter! It doesn’t matter one bit! Not at all, not at all, NOT AT ALL! Because you only get one body, sure it may be difficult today, you may be busy or tired or just uncomfortable with the whole idea but to stay fit you need to get help!

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I’m talking about professional, medical help.

You know what? I’ll admit it! I go to a physio every week. And it doesn’t make me less of a natural runner or anything like that, it just makes me better at running! It makes me be able to keep giving for longer and keep running stronger.

So yeah, get your legs involved!