Alison Cowling

Alison Cowling

Director | Actor | Musician | Writer

Running and Fulfillment

The fourth entry of The Running Diaries, a short, snappy circuit…

She jutters and splutters… cogs not whirring how they should. She judders and spludders… coming to a very certain stop. No, not me on a run but my dear ol’ van! Breaking down on a Monday afternoon on my way back from work. My van getting her “stitch” right at the front of the traffic lights.

After a couple of hours of frustration, an AA call out (at least he was really nice…and nice looking 😛 ) and dropping her off at the garage, who were not sure what was wrong (And I’m still not sure – they were not a great garage) I was without my usual way to work and left reluctantly looking up buses. But with a quick google, there was a quicker way than the bus… 4.4 miles, I could run that!

So Tuesday morning, heading out the house at 7.20am, I set off to explore the new route to work, taking me on unfamiliar roads, some steep hills but with surprising views! A Tuesday early morning run in this continual ground hog day of January Lockdown was exactly the adventure I needed. It was so fun to be changing up routine.

With my banging playlist spurring me on, I felt excited. Without relying on driving I could just rely on my own body, my own legs were enough to get me to work. Even though in the past I have been told that my body is not enough for others… I have learnt that my body is enough for me. I felt proud of my legs that let me run, that get me where I need to go. I felt fulfilled. I can find excitement with what I already have. I don’t need to rely on anybody or anything more. If I can let that man go, I can let that van go!

And even more fun was that this was all before I started work. I could take this new energy into my job. The next day I did it again – there and back nearly 9 miles. But when Thursday arrived I knew I didn’t quite have the stamina and borrowing my housemates bike lights, I cycled my trusty Brie (Yes my bike is named) instead.

The view over the city on the way home.

So even though 4 runs over 2 days, was a pretty light running week for me, it felt enough.

And I finished this week with a sense of closure too. The low and repetitive January 2021 ending with a sense of fulfillment coming from the conclusion of Yoga With Adriene’s 30 day yoga challenge, ‘Breathe’. Adriene is one of the best teachers ever, free yoga videos on her YouTube – I can’t recommend her enough and I will probably write a blog on Running and Yoga soon! (I am not sponsored… yet!)

So I am thankful in a way, Cali (Yes she also has a name) broke down, as it made me realise I didn’t need a van to get to work. I don’t always need the things I think I do. I can get stuck in a routine and a very unreliable engine control unit, might just be the thing to spark some new patterns in a stagnant time. I don’t have to rely on the materialistic but I can find fulfillment in the simple, small pleasures. And for me, that’s running.


Soundtrack to this entry: ‘My My My – Funktuary Radio Mix’ Armand Van Helden, Tara Mcdonald – Good ol’ dance track, getting me pumped at 7.30 to take on those Bristol hills and it never fails to make me happy.

Snack for this entry: Oranges!