As a big fan of Bella Mackie’s writing, I was really looking forward to reading Jog On. Thankfully it both lived up to and surpassed all my expectations, as this book is moving, funny and motivational all at once.
Jog On starts with Bella newly divorced and struggling with long-standing mental health issues. The breakdown of her marriage leads her to put on her old trainers and go for a run. Although this was just a small run, in a dark alleyway by her house, with this small step Bella began to find solace from her anxiety. Each day she would do a little more, push a little further and continue to surprise herself. She recounts milestone moments including running through a busy Camden Market, to getting on the tube for the first time in 15 years after one of her longest runs.
This is an informative and accessible read, showing both the physical and mental health benefits you can get from running, and it certainly makes you want to put on your trainers and give it a go too. Bella’s running narrative is not one of a race or a marathon, but of running for the simple joy and escape it gives her from her anxiety. This is the aspect of the book which I found the most inspiring, as the goal for her is simply to feel better, and this is something which I’m sure could resonate with – and give hope to – so many.
Bella gives the reader an honest, brave and unfiltered account of what it is to live with anxiety and depression and her warm, anecdotal and often self-deprecating style is endearing and makes the book even more relatable. Jog On is both a huge comfort and an inspiration, and anyone who enjoyed Bryony Gordon’s Mad Girl or Alexandra Heminsley’s Running Like a Girl, should pick it up – alongside their trainers!
Frances, Senior Media and Celebrity Officer at Mind