Why I quit work to go running

I’ve quit my job. Never mind that I have three kids under the age of seven to support and I’m fast approaching 40 and still live in rented accommodation, I felt that I had to do it. So I’ve left the security of a job I enjoy, monthly paydays, a pension, paid expenses, IT support, Christmas parties with free bars and office banter. For what?

Why I quit work to go running

Ostensibly it’s for a better work/life balance, greater flexibility and potential to earn a bit more money as a freelance business journalist. The Mrs reckons it is a midlife crisis. Truth be told, it’s a bit of both, but neither are the main reason for my decision to quit work. The real reason is this: I’ve become obsessed with running.

Why I’ve quit work to go running

I’m not even a very good runner. I’m certainly not built for it: for someone so tall (6ft 4 or thereabouts) my legs are weirdly short (inside leg is 32 inches); I’m slow and I have a pancreas that doesn’t work (hence the name of this blog), meaning that I cannot convert food into energy without injecting insulin several times a day.

The type one diabetes makes running long distances quite a challenge. Too much insulin and I collapse in a quivering mess; at that point I quickly fall into unconsciousness if I don’t get any sugar into me. Not enough insulin and my cells can’t absorb the glucose they need to function and my blood becomes clogged with sugar, making me feel like crap at best, damaging my organs at worst.

Still, running makes me feel I’m escaping diabetes and the complications it can cause. Sure, I have to prick my fingers every 30 minutes to ensure my blood sugar is okay and think carefully about how much food I eat and insulin I inject, but running makes managing the condition easier. Since starting running I’ve cut my insulin dose by two thirds, I’ve lost three stone and I’m happier.

So it’s mostly selfish. But I’ve also quit full time work because I want to help other people with diabetes. In the past year I’ve met people who have perforated their kidneys, gone blind and attempted suicide (one had injected 300 units of insulin because he felt he’d rather die than struggle with the condition) as a result of type one diabetes.

So I will be running the Marathon des Sables 2019 – and a number of warm ups in 2018 including the Marathon des Cote – in aid of three diabetes charities, JDRF, Diabetes UK and T1 International for them and the many others struggling with the condition. Please, please, please donate on my JustGiving page and follow my journey on the blog and share on social media.

Your donation will help people living with type one diabetes live lives as fulfilling and potentially extraordinary as anyone else’s. That’s got to be worth a few quid, hasn’t it?

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