Sunday, 22 July 2012

What running means to me and how it became an obsession; a pre-marathon note

I have always enjoyed being active, tried several different sports in my life. I started Skiing at the age of eight. And waterskiing a few years after that. I used to play basketball in school (I have never enjoyed playing football, needless to say I have been always rubbish at it.) and I joined a basketball club for six months at the age of fifteen. Tennis was another sport that I gave a try, but that didn't last longer than several months either. I also trained Judo for six months, played squash for a year and a half and ended up with a twisted knee in 2010. I even joined a rugby club at the age of 26! and that was the best team sport I have ever tried, I was just a bit old to take it seriously though. Cycling was the only endurance sport I did before running and my best cycling achievement was 62-mile ride during Northern Rock Cyclone in 2009.

In April 2012 I twisted my ankle while playing squash and could barely walk for a couple of weeks. The result was gaining about 10 kg in a couple of months .I used to run every now and then before then and at that time I decided to run in order to lose weight and keep fit.

I was sluggish in the beginning and could only jog for a couple of minutes. Gradually I increased the time and distance. After a couple of months I was able to run for 20 minutes. And then running was not a weight-loss tool any more. It seems that I have just found my favourite sport. Having had a wee experience in endurance sport, I made running a habbit. I would run 4-6 times a week and it didnt only give me the physical strength but also helped me relieve stress. Running was keeping me sane while passing one of the most stressful times of my life during my national service. As you might have realised by now, it is now an obsession, it's much more than a sport, it's a way of life. I cannot see myself not running. When you see yourself running long distances - something you have never even imagined yourself to be capable of - it gives you a strength. It widens your mind and gradually elimintate "Impossible" from your list of words. Once not long ago, marathon was not even a dream. And now there is only a few days to my first marathon.

This is what running means to me. I am running a marathon to challenge my endurance, to see what I am capable of. I am doing so because I have enjoyed every single session of my training along the way. Whatever happens, I am going to give it my best on Saturday.

What does running mean to you? and what is your motivation?

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