Posted by Nicola On 2 September, 2016
I used to work 12 hour night shifts. I stopped seeing friends. My back seized up. I lost my appetite for everything: food, sleep, life. The money was good but seriously, the price was too high.
When I gave up the shifts I felt like a creaky old lady waking up from a winter sleep. All I wanted to feel was healthy again. It was January. After New Year’s I watched everyone set their new resolutions. I waited until late January to begin mine.
I was an awful runner; it just felt good (if a little traumatic) to get blood moving round my body again. I’ve always been bad at sports. Right from the beginning, my P.E. teachers took against me. I liked monkeying around, which they had no patience for. And they mistook any earnest attempts to play sports for some giant pisstake, I think. But I was really TRYING!!
Stepping outside in winter to run felt very public, particularly on London’s roads. But being outside did something. I ran and I panted. Watching my breath condense in the cold air made me feel like I was really breathing. Running in the pouring rain made me feel a bit of a wild woman (I looked like one too to the amusement of Australian tourists). I felt the sun rise. I heard the parakeets shrieking around in the early morning mists. My trainers crunched on frozen grass.
That was years ago and I still haven’t tired of my runs. The seasons come around like old friends.
I don’t run with a camera, obvs, but I have my phone with me every time. And every now and then I’m still moved enough by a scene to stop in my tracks, fiddle clumsily with my touchscreen, and capture…
These pics reflect my relationship with my body and my neighbourhood from a specific time in my life. They’re lonely times, but peaceful; they’re mine.