Photo Credit: The Telegraph
I am not a runner. In fact, I loathe running. I have technically been a ‘person who runs’, a ‘person who enjoys telling people she runs’ and a ‘person who wishes that it were easier’- but frankly, I hate it. It’s sweaty, tiring and excessively hard work, which is why I was intrigued to read Bryony Gordon’s latest book ‘Eat, Drink, Run’, in the hopes that, from one couch potato to another, she might be able to offer me some advice.
I’ve previously read Bryony’s other books, most notably ‘Mad Girl’, where she gave an in-depth and honest account of her life with OCD. It was after reading that when I fell totally head over heels with her. I’ve suffered from OCD for the last 15 years, and it’s so rare to find a genuinely funny, honest and almost accurate description of the thoughts that I deal with because nobody else seems to be bloody talking about it.
So I guess in a way, I kind of hoped that I’d be able to relate to this book just as much… and even motivate myself into a running type, who ya know… could actually do a marathon one day.
Much as I expected, this book is not really written about running.
I mean, it is. It’s a book where she talks about running… but it’s more a book about finding ways to manage mental illness, to banish fear and to boost your natural endorphins. Bryony talks mainly through her story, about how she even got into running in the first place, her involvement in the ‘mental health mates’ support network, the fact that she’s basically best buds with Prince Harry – all the way to the finish line of the London Marathon.
Now, I don’t want to give too much away, but what I will say is that Bryony is as always, uplifting.
She’s not the kind of person who ever sugar-coats her life for the audience. You literally follow the struggles up and down, you hear the (sometimes slightly grim) details about the side-effects of those dodgey energy sachets…. and more than anything, we follow what is essentially the story of a happy woman, with a mixed up mind.
Bryony may not convince me to don my running trainers anytime soon, but what she does do is make me feel safer and not so alone with my mental illness.
It’s an isolating thing to argue 24/7 with your own brain, but Bryony’s writing always makes me feel like there’s at least one person who gets it, who gets to have a happy life and who shows me that there is a light at the end of the very long tunnel.
To be honest, I absolutely adored it when I finished it. Even if you’re not a runner, not someone who’s had much experience with mental illness and not someone who thinks that this has any relevance to them, please give it a chance! It’s such a warming, funny and enjoyable read. Highly recommend.