Even Hufflepuffs Can be Brave

Happy New Year to you! I hope you all enjoyed all your celebrations no matter how big or small. I’ve enjoyed eating a strict diet of cheese, bread, chocolate and Lucky Charms. I am utterly devastated that the season has now come to an end, and my luxurious choice of nutrients has too.

Over December, I’ve been struggling to get out and run, not because I’ve been over indulging – ok maybe because of that; but mainly due to the dark nights and mornings. I am too scared to go out on my own at night and if I ran on the roads with Simon, I wouldn’t be able to let him off his lead and I don’t think that would be good for either of us.

I have been lucky enough to enjoy two weeks off work, and I have managed to get out and do three day time runs during the madness of all the festivities. I’m now aiming to go out every Saturday until we get a little more day light in our evenings and then I can go back out to running every night.

A magical thing happened on the 22nd December. Bella Mackie, (author of Best selling book ‘Jog On’) picked me out of 1000’s of applicants to receive the last copy of her new Jog On Journal. She sent me a DM on Instagram to arrange delivery. She knows where I live – I hope she pops in for a cuppa next time she’s in the North! She not only sent me a copy of her journal, but she sent me the last copy of Jog On she had. I completed Jog On in 17 hours – I couldn’t put it down. I would recommended it to anyone who is struggling with their mental health or anyone who is interested in jogging or exercise for clearing their minds. I really can’t wait to get out and get back into the swing of running.

I’d like to say the next bit is all in aid of the New Year, New Me hype. But it isn’t. I gave blood yesterday. Most of you are probably thinking what’s the big deal? But I am terrified of needles. I have managed to stop crying just about when I have my blood taken. I decided a long time ago if I could give jogging/running/screaming whilst trying to move quickly a go; I should probably try and get a grip on my other phobias. My sister has given blood in the past and I thought I should try that. I booked on to give blood in September 2019. The first available day they had was the 2nd January 2020. When I did see that date I am ashamed to say the cliche of New Year l, New Me ran through my mind.

Joe came with me – the literature they send you and make you read makes it sound like you won’t be able to walk for about 5 weeks but I was absolutely fine. I’m glad he could come to take the photograph below. I was so nervous, with Joe being there I managed to hold my nerves inside and it was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be. You even get a drink and a biscuit at the end. Is it really self centred to declare I am very proud of myself?

You’re told not to exercise for 24 hours after giving blood and today I have been itching to get back out – especially as one of the nurses told me you burn 600 calories regenerating the blood you’ve lost. I mean – why can we only do it every 16 weeks?! A few 600 calorie sessions and I’ll be at my goal in no time. Seriously though, they need all the blood they can get. If you are thinking of donating blood, please do. Free tea, coffee and biscuits, and burning 600 calories?! I told them I was scared and nervous and they looked after me. They even offered Joe goodies like he was a creature of importance himself!

I hope if you have made New Year’s Resolutions that you are successful in completing and achieving your goals this year. I just want to be the same annoying person that I was last year. Just maybe clocking up more miles (or kms) with my running.

May your 2020 be everything you wish for and more.

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