Since moving in June, running outdoors has become quite rare for me. I can count the number of times on one hand that I've pulled on my runners and stepped out my front door. I've found that I can go for a 5km run around the streets where my mum (and I) used to live quite easily, and in some bizarre way it's quite comforting, but running back home gave me a knot in my stomach.
I just didn't like it. I felt uneasy, unsettled, and the constant scanning made my breathing irregular and my pace jagged.
In short, I felt unsafe.
Maybe it's from living in more of a rural area now. Maybe it's that Deon doesn't get home until late, and running at dusk with minimal people around unsettles me. The whole aloneness thing, with not-so-safe areas surrounding me, the Jill Meagher tragedy haunting my thoughts and the vulnerability with having my earphones in has compounded me to do something that I haven't done for a while.
I signed up for a gym membership last night. Deon was in favour of it. Why hadn't I done it earlier? I guess I felt that I couldn't justify the expense when I was quite happy to pound the pavement before. But, I need to feel safe. I need to feel secure, and while I will be spending most of my time indoors on a treadmill I can guarantee you that when I visit mum, I'll be out the door to run around her neighborhood just to get that sun on my shoulders again.
But, a gym means stability. It means being able to head in after work and not worry about whether the sun is disappearing, or if it's baking hot or pouring rain. After all, I've been missing my running way too much. And, when it comes to paying for my safety and peace of mind, the price of a gym membership is nothing.