Researching the crippling effect of bound feet on women in ancient China for my story performance Bound Feet Blues has made me appreciate the freedom I have as a modern woman have to enjoy the simple pleasure of going for a run
I went for a 3 mile run on Easter Sunday in the pouring rain and came back utterly drenched. You may not believe me but I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Why such seeming madness?
Of course I’d prefer to run through a sunny landscape, with the warm sunshine on my face and the vibrant colours of spring bursting around me. But there’s something tactile and
immersive about running in the rain. With the rain drops splashing on my body and the drumming of the water all around me, I feel as if I’m – well, really enveloped in and *feeling* the weather.
The streets are also empty in the rain so I feel as if I’m the only person in the world – which is a rare and precious experience in a large city like London.
The one thing I used not to like was that my feet would get wet and cold, especially if there are too many puddles. But since I’ve been reflecting on the restrictions imposed on Chinese women long ago through binding their feet, the discomfort of wet feet as I whizz along seems less troublesome.
I don’t run very fast but I am always thrilled by the sense of zipping along with the wind – and rain – on my face.
It is a freedom indeed!