I know what happiness is to me.

I ran the Woodhouse Moor Parkrun today in Leeds, hosted by Leeds Frontrunners. It was a celebration of everything fun, colourful, positive and bright. And it got me thinking…

I know what happiness is to me. 

It’s waking up on a Saturday morning at 7.15am and creeping around the house like an out-of-season Santa trying not to wake anyone;
It’s packing my kit bag up silently, amidst the sound of weekend silence and young children’s snores;
It’s filing my Heisenberg travel mug with coffee without clumsily clattering the spoon on the ceramic sides, and grabbing a couple of chocolate digestives from Gav’s gingerbread man biscuit tin for the journey;
It’s wrestling into my 2XU compression socks without falling over – the first metamorphosis into “Runner”, not unlike Eric when he eats that banana;
It’s tip-toeing out of the door and hearing the muted ‘click’ of the front door as it closes ever so quietly behind me, as if I’m just about to enter a secret kingdom;
It’s settling in my Juke with the heated seats warming my goosebumped thighs, or cold air blasting at my feet, depending on the mood of the weather gods;
It’s pressing ‘PLAY’ on my iPhone playlist and still marvelling at the fact that I don’t need a CD player in the car – music can be played telepathically nowadays, don’t you know;
It’s having my unashamedly out of date tunes on too loud, and singing along to Jane Wiedlin’s Rush Hour as if it’s he best song I’ve ever heard. And then again, and again until the x-factor thrill turns into mild irritation;
It’s driving across to join the M62 and marvelling at the beauty of the rolling Yorkshire hills as they become drenched in the morning sunlight;
It’s hitting the motorway and cruising effortlessly along, enabling me to concentrate more on my talentless singing than on other wanker drivers;
It’s parking up and suddenly needing a wee, but having no idea where to go, and so making do with a brief squat inbetween my two open car doors; (yes I really do that.)
It’s the dread of the warmup trot when I – yet again – wonder how the hell my legs will go any faster than Tilly’s 5-year old Junior Parkrun pace;
It’s standing on the start line and looking around me at the other runners, wondering how they’re feeling, and catching someone’s eye for a mutually knowing smile;
It’s setting off and running faster than I believed I could, and gulping back the fears which threaten to invade my imminently flatlining positive mantra;
It’s keeping going when everything hurts and burns and aches;
It’s the feeling of relief on passing the finish line, and knowing I’ve once again successfully wrestled my anxiety into a head lock from which it can’t escape;
It’s taking my first post-race gormless selfie, when I can’t help but look like an overexcited meerkat;
It’s getting back in my car and ONCE AGAIN singing along to Jane Wiedlin’s Rush Hour as if it’s the best song I’ve ever heard. I am Bill Murray in Groundhog Day – it’s as if the earlier morning journey never even happened.
It’s arriving home and knowing that my family love me for all of the above reasons.
So today, this was my day. And that’s what’s made me so utterly, absolutely and insanely happy. Thank you Parkrun, and @LFrontrunners, for making my day.
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