It’s funny the effect being under the weather can have on the mind and body. I use the term ‘under the weather’ because I’m referring not to a state of full-blown illness, but rather one in which you exist in a perpetual state of feeling just below par, as one feels when afflicted with the common cold. You’re not too ill to work, or do the weekly shop, or even to socialise with friends. But all the while you’re acutely aware of not being the best version of yourself; hardly surprising given that your body’s putting all its effort into fighting off the bug that’s threatening your immune system, leaving little energy for anything else.
It’s often not until you’re fully recovered that you realise quite how below par you’ve been feeling. I found this out today, when I donned my trainers and went for my first post-cold run. This time last week I attempted a run despite having a scratchy throat, and was forced to turn back after ten minutes through sheer exhaustion. Since then I’ve laid off exercise entirely, feeling uncharacteristically unbothered by my lack of exertion. But today, for the first time, I woke up full of energy. And I just knew I was better.
When I set off on my run and settled into a comfortable pace I felt as if I could run for miles – which I did; five of them to be precise. Each one was as glorious as the last, and as I ran from Clapham to Battersea, around the park, along the river and back in bright sunshine with new music playing on my iPod, the world felt as if it had righted itself once more. I returned with a smile on my face and a song in my heart: It’s just so wonderful to be well, and better still to have those occasional moments when you actually appreciate it.