I had often thought of myself as the non-athletic, better hit the books and stand out kind of person. Nevertheless, many sports had crossed my mind at some point or another. Team sports like basketball and soccer were a couple I tried out and for some reason actually made the team for, only to desert it after three weeks of practice. Then there were the loner sports like tennis. Ah tennis, filled with the glamour of the country clubs and its white clean skirts and cool Nike gear. Yes, I was a victim of the fad and yes, I must admit I have been a victim of Nike’s brilliant marketing skills, in more than one occasion. But it was that same brilliantness that has brought me to this moment and has made me who I am now: a RUNNER.
What is a runner?
I used to think a runner was one those crazy people who woke up at extremely crazy hours on Sunday mornings, only to be seen by the other crazy people who were coming home at that same hour. Well, it turns out they are!!
You have to be crazy to run and tell people (non-runners) that you have to go to sleep early on a Friday night because tomorrow you have to hit the trails. To them, it just doesn’t make any sense. Soon they start to look at you funny and say things like: “I don’t understand where you’re running to...” or “What’s the point of running? Isn’t it very boring???” And the answer is always the same: I just love to run. You should try it.
Honestly, I’ve often given up on explaining to others my reasons for running. I can say I run for health, to lose weight, because it makes me feel good, or simply because I can, but in the end it always brings me back to the place where I started. To the first day I decided to stop walking and just run. Nobody told me to start running, I just saw the 1km mark and headed forward. Pretty soon, it was 2k, 3k, 5k. Running 5k seemed like a lot to me, the non-athletic type, until Nike showed up one day with their fabulously orchestrated scheme and showed me the 10k mark.
Ten kilometers in unison with hundreds of thousands of people in over 30 cities around the globe seemed overwhelming. The thought of being part of something extraordinary and the desire to achieve my goal were just too difficult to resist. An at that moment, I was in.
Now, I’m not saying it was easy. It took me a while to consider myself a runner and it’s a challenge to be able to say it every day. Every day a runner wakes up and every step he takes outside the door comes down to self-satisfaction and self-achievement. A runner is an extraordinary person with an astonishing will and drive to excel with every stride, and it humbles me to have the pleasure of knowing many who have inspired me to try and do the same.
So, whether it is a half or full marathon that you are running tomorrow, remember not the reason why you are finishing, but remember the reason why you started.
Good luck runners and TwitterRunners!!!