Why do I feel ‘safer’ in the Mountains?

Control your legs

Let them fly

Not too much

Don’t land on your heels

Look after your knees

Skip

Skip

Breathe

*zzz, zzz* “Mumma?”

Oh yes – our Sunday Evening phone call. It had become somewhat of a routine. Nothing long, just a check in on how our week had been and how we were feeling heading into another Monday.

“Hello my little – are you at home?”

“No Mumma, just heading down off the mountain.”

“On your own? Does Jamie know where you are? It’s dark – aren’t you scared?”

Her tone was gentle but with a touch of motherly worry. Her questions didn’t shock me though – it was the normal onslaught of questions I’d come to expect should she catch me on an evening run.

I switched off my head torch and looked around. I was stood on a tiny private road that wound up to a single farm on the mountainside. I had been running for almost 4 hours now and the warm glow of the sunset had disappeared – replaced now with an array of bright, clear stars that all seemed to be there just for me.

I was feeling a whole host of emotions – somehow, this complicated body of mine was able to feel hunger, contentment, tear-jerking happiness, achy muscles and peace all at the same time, yet recognise them as individual elements and appreciate them for what they are.

Fear, though, was quite obviously absent.

But why wasn’t I scared?

It wasn’t through lack of awareness. I spent a lot of time out here and I know what could go wrong, should the worst happen.

But do you know what’s really cool?

Through some twist of luck, mostly because of where I live and where I get to run, all of those articles that say night time running in cities as dangerous or irresponsible, the ones that paint women in a “What do you think you’re doing running at night you crazy person?! If you get jumped it’s you’re own fault” kind of light, are not articles that circulate in my brain when I step out for my evening run.

The Mountains do, sometimes, bring fear, but it’s usually brought on by a lack of preparation rather than something that is completely out of my control, like the actions of another human being.

In fact, I hadn’t seen a single human soul for about two hours and that wasn’t abnormal for me.

Still, with my head torch switched off, staring up at the night sky on some tiny little Welsh Farm Road, my lips pulled back into a smile.

“No Ma, I’m not scared. I’ll call you when I get home. Love you”

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