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Paul Strickland
Paul Strickland

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The surprise of darkness

Every year towards the end of September the mornings here start to get noticeably darker. Rather than being able to jump out of bed and see the light of a new day through the windows, I find myself wondering if it is actually time to get up or not. It surprises me every year, and this grim sense of getting up at night makes a real chore out of starting the day. We have a few weeks left until the clocks go back and provide us with a bit of respite, but in reality we are facing 6 months of dark mornings again.

Over the last fortnight this darkness has made running difficult. It's all in my mind – I realise that – but I find myself having to work quite hard to convince myself to go outside. I can find excuses ("it's too dark to run safely on the road") but then mitigate them ("try this other route"); I suggest that I'm too tired and need a rest but know that isn't true; I volunteer the compromise of running later in the day, but hate having to dodge people at a safe distance.

Eventually, I find myself with my shorts and shoes on. I open the door, greet the weather and before I know it I am warmed up, breathing the fresh morning air and running strongly into the sunrise.

I'm publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. You can join in yourself by visiting

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