In a couple of days I will celebrate my first year as a runner and I decided to commemorate it by running the Midnight Run, an amateurish competition of 4/8/12km sponsored by Starbene, the wellness magazine I write for. I have never liked running nor any other physical training. To me, sport meant me sprawling on the sofa while training my arm in picking up chocolate pralines and bringing them to my mouth in front of a movie. Therefore, I never thought that in twelve months I would contemplate running a marathon. Half-marathon, to be precise. I am not that crazy! So, how did it happen that one day I finally got off my arse, pulled myself up from the comfy sofa and in the frosty winter I went out running in the park? To then get to a point where I cannot live without it? Elementary, my dear Watson: it was the first and only activity that made me feel good again, after a dark period. A year ago I ended a complicated relationship and the pain of breaking up was so fierce that deprived me, a larger-than-life jolly woman, of any passion for life. I felt so miserable I literally could not get out of bed. For a whole month. Luckily, I was surrounded by a caring network of friends who in a time of need took care of me, coming to my place to bring me food (oh yes, pain deprives you also of appetite) or just to hug me. I cried for weeks, because it felt necessary to expel the pain from within and it had no other way of getting out if not through tears. For the first time in my life, I fell prey to a complete state of apathy; I only felt a strong urge of falling asleep, reaching that oneiric limbo where I didn’t have to confront the excruciating pain. Until a cold late November morning, when I said to myself: ‘Today you go out and take a fresh breath of air.’ I put on my tracksuit and my runners – never used before to do any kind of sport – and I proceeded towards the park. I have always found solace in nature. One step led to another one, the rhythm increased and almost without knowing it, I gave in to a slow run. I think I must have lasted approximately twenty minutes, sweating my ass off, and at such a poor speed that even mothers with strollers outdistanced me! In short, it was quite a pathetic performance, nothing to be proud of. Yet I felt proud; proud of standing up on my feet again. Then, something amazing happened: my body, high on endorphins produced during the physical training, finally perceived a subtle sensation of wellbeing. For the very first time in a month, I felt better. The morning after, I went back to the park. This time I struggled less and I extended my running path, duration and resistance. The ensuing wellbeing, pumped up by endorphins, a natural drug produced by our body, was even greater. Therefore, running became essential to me. In time, I resumed my other usual activities: I started going out again, laughing, eating, dancing, living and shagging. Yet, running remained my favorite activity because it was the first one to reactivate my crushed heart. Feeling your heart beating while you are in love is ecstasy; feeling it beating again when you thought it was off forever is pure bliss. Bliss is not a state of lack of pain, but the very opposite: bliss is the state you conquer after experiencing pain. Nowadays I run 40 km a week, 10 km every two days. I reshaped my 42-year-old body; I lost two sizes; cellulite is gone; my arms are toned up; my belly is less round. And my smile is more brilliant than ever. Not to mention men; oh yes, girls, there are many fish in the sea, you just have to learn how to catch them. And when they try to dodge the bait, a runner always knows how to catch them again, running, of course! Running perfectly works also when you want to get rid of a man, leaving him in the dust. Plus, Runners Do It Better. Trust your Doctor Love!