Autumn. A time when nature starts to shut up shop for the winter and the humans turn their attention to retreating indoors for cooler, darker days. Odd that it’s also a time of new beginnings, but it is.
And it’s not just the new term that I’m talking about: although whether you’re a four-year-old starting school or a forty-eight-year-old beginning the final year of your Masters, there’s the potential for new books, new people and new ideas.
It’s the concept of the summer providing a fire gap. On one side, the wind up of the old term, work schedules geared towards taking time off for a holiday and a season of barbecue weekends and cold beer in the garden. Then the disruption to the normal routine – whether there’s kids at home or not – and eventually a return to what went before.
Or is it? Do we really go back to what went before?
I spent some time working as a childminder a few years ago and during August the phone would ring off the hook with new enquiries: usually women who, with the upcoming new term, were re-evaluating their employment status or taking on new studies.
Likewise, it would seem that some women re-evaluate every aspect of their lives as they edge towards autumn, including their bodies. Social media has been wall-to-wall this morning with introspective comments, some positive, most negative, about how lazy and unfit people feel. Is this really the case? Could it be that with children back at school and/or the distractions of summer out of the way, there’s some time and space for these women to think about who they are and where they are heading?
The new term brings new beginnings for everyone, I guess.
So, I started running again this morning. I walked around the supermarket afterwards, remembering the buzz and how strong my legs feel. And despite missing the lazy, warm days of summer with my children, how exhilarating it is to be out alone under the trees, with this new beginning stretching out in front of me.
I love the chance to start again, no matter how many times I’ve done it before.
Thinking of new beginnings yourself? If you’re looking for inspiration, check out my Top Ten Tips for Plus Size Running and for a little motivation, why we should ignore the doubters and just get out there for the sake of our heart health. If you want a giggle, there’s my retort to Nicole Arbour’s fattist outburst and if you’re looking for a re-stabilising moment of calm, what the body obsessed modern world can learn from an ancient Tibetan proverb.