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Digital Subscriptions > Women’s Running > May 2019 - POWER UP! > Bella Mackie WARRIOR “Running taught me how not to be scared”

Bella Mackie WARRIOR “Running taught me how not to be scared”

Panic attacks, anxiety and negative thoughts governed Bella Mackie’s life. But when she hit rock bottom, running saved it

Bella Mackie is a convert. “I hope to be running well into my 90s,” says the journalist and author over a coffee.

For someone who used to hate exercise this is quite a turnaround, as the 35-year-old readily admits. “I used to think sport was for weirdos or people who wanted abs,” she says. “Previously I just couldn’t understand the concept of exercise.”

That was until five years ago when, in the face of crippling anxiety and the breakdown of her first marriage, she laced up her trainers for a run that would change her life…

Plagued by anxiety since childhood, Bella can recall its presence weaved into even her earliest memories. “I can remember when I was four or five years old at a school fair. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I told my mum I felt sick and asked if I could go home. I couldn’t really articulate what that was about, but I knew something wasn’t quite right. Even at that age, my mum thought I was a bit of a worrier,” she reveals.

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About Women’s Running

In the May issue of Women’s Running, we are fast and FIERCE. We uncover 15 ways that running can make you more powerful, physically and mentally, and we’ve put them to the test. We also investigate the controversial topic of disordered eating and running: what are the warning signs to look out for in ourselves and others, and how we can support people who show symptoms of this harrowing and broad reaching mental illness that is unhappily prevalent in our community. We speak to journalist and author Bella Mackie on how she used running to manage the symptoms of her anxiety - so well, in fact, that she wrote a book about it. And we review tons of kit, including trail backpacks for days off the beaten track, some stunning neutral shoes, and fab all-weather jackets. Plus, we’ve got a training guide for a five-mile race, the ultimate marathon nutrition guide, and a lustworthy compo from Ultra - win three pairs of shoes worth £360!