I’ve been into sports more or less all my life. Not in a club or another specifically dedicated way but either watching it or just doing it for myself. As a kid is was mostly playing games that involved running around outside or sometimes playing soccer with my brother and his friends (if they let me). Of course I also had a bicycle, roller skates and at times a skateboard that kept me moving.
As a teenager I wasn’t crazy about gym class but in my spare time I still remained active and rode my bike pretty much everywhere. So that never stopped. But only at the age of 27 did I consciously take up running as a regular habit. At first I found it extremely arduous, I could hardly run a couple of hundred yards without sounding like a steam engine. But I kept at it and stuck with it ever since.
I’ve never turned into a fast runner but I can run moderate distances and as I run slowly I can run for quite a long time no problem. Record is around two and a half hours. In the past years I’ve participated in a few races but after each and every one I was convinced it was the last. I did not like the masses, running with other folks does not appeal to me at all and usually race day is simply not one of my “magical days” when I just get up and run as if I’d never done anything else.
Of course, exercise-induced asthma doesn’t help. But I’m starting to get accustomed to it and know how to work with it. I’ve found my peace with not being the fastest runner but instead concentrate on having fun while I’m out there enjoying nature in all it’s glory. And I think that’s why this year everything’s different.
All of a sudden I’m chasing race after race. Or, well, let’s say I’m easily convinced to join in yet another one. One of my very best friends is an inspiring runner, duathlete and thriathlete. He recently joined the board of a runners club and asked me to join the club as well. He lured me in with the prospect of receiving 10 bucks for every race I finish that is on our race club’s list. So after only a couple of races I’ll have earned back my club fee and after that it’s pure cash… haha, it seems I’m a capitalist after all.
But to be honest, it’s not about the money at all. What spurs me this time is
a) The fact that all the races I’ve joined so far were only regional events with few runners and
b) I’m taking it so easy with the only goal being that I arrive – regardless of the time.
That does the trick. I’ve stopped agonizing about my performance but instead concentrate on the joys of running: The feeling of being healthy and able to run at all, the fresh crisp-clean air, the sounds, texture of snow or gravel under my feet, the friendly folks spurring the runners on, the other participants- joy – it’s all most inspiring. And guess what? I’ve been delivering my best results when it comes to times so far 🙂
Now of course one might think I might be running away from something… which might make sense after as exhausting a year as the one I’ve just put behind me. But then again I’ve always been a rather positive person so I prefer to look at it the other way – I’m running towards something. Be it answers, a new beginning or simply the appreciation of a cleansing shower after the run 🙂
Dear readers, is there anything you totally changed your mind about over time?