Louise from the UK spent most of her teenage years not accepting her hearing impairment, the result from multiple ear infections and antibiotics treatment in her childhood. Since having her cochlear implant, her confidence has grown so much that going for runs off-treadmill has become a reality. Louise tells us more about her “love at second sight”: running.
It’s a word that many of us are likely to shy away from. Indeed, in previous years I would have considered a fast walk up the stairs as enough ‘exercise’ for one day, and the only running I would have been engaging in was running a bath.
Back in 2015 I decided to have a change, lose a bit of weight and maybe do a little bit of exercising if need be. A colleague was a huge fan of running and was recommending it to everyone. I decided to have a dabble, thinking I would try it and probably not continue. How wrong could I be!
Persistence is key
It wasn’t an instant falling in love... My first few weeks consisted of a lot of walking, a lot of cursing (which would have been more if I had enough breath left) and a red face that prompted passers-by to wonder if I needed medical attention. It wasn’t pretty and it was tough and that was before she introduced me to hills! However, there was also a real sense of achievement after I’d been out, I felt proud of myself. This feeling has never left and continues to be one of my drives to put my trainers on and go out even when I’m eyeing up the bag of Maltesers and a movie instead.
Never too late to start
Running has been my therapy, my cure for many of the trouble’s life has thrown at me for the last 5 years. Being profoundly deaf and often struggling to hear, I have always been on the anti-social side of the friendliness scale and I’m happy in my own company and escaping off to run really helps me. I love that I don’t have to worry about listening to anyone and I can focus my attention on running.
I had a cochlear implant in 2014 and I now feel confident enough to be able to run on the roads and away from the treadmill. Running is free, it’s a cheap way of exercising. It can save a few hundred pounds on a gym membership and the view is forever changing - although be warned, running shoe purchasing can become an addiction!
Since my implant I never fail to get a kick out of hearing the birds in the trees (providing they are louder than the sound of my laboured breathing). Of course, if you love company then there are many clubs to join and the ever-popular ParkRun on a Saturday morning in hundreds of locations. My 71-year-old aunt is smashing 5k personal best’s regularly at ParkRuns!
My race, my pace!
However you choose to run, I’d thoroughly recommend it. If I’m stressed, sad or frustrated, it helps clear my mind and enables a more positive outlook. But on the flip side, if I’m happy, and life is going well, it also helps! It maintains good health and keeps me on top of things. I’m not fast, I’m not an athlete, I eat far too many crisps, and chocolate is inhaled instead of eaten... but I’m a runner. I run. And I love it!