Tuesday, July 26, 2005

why i run

i started running at the age of 13. before that i was a jumper. i never ran because i thought i couldn't. back then the only running events in primary school were the 100m and 200m. and i sure as hell sucked in those. so, being a gymnasts, i jumped instead. i did both long and high jumps but i was better at high jumps.

my dad used to try his best to persuade me to go jogging with him at the lake. i was too stubborn to listen. i always felt as though the people at the lake were hard core runners, and that if i went i would've embarrased myself. so i chose to shy away.

anyway, in form 1, aged 13, my friends and i took part in this event called Larian Mesra. if you ask me now where it was held and how fast i ran, i can't remember. all i know is that it was 7 km and yours truly, without prior training whatsoever, went and got myself a medal. 28th position, i recall. that was when i found out i had some sort of running gene in me. i figured if i could do that without any form of training, imagine how i could be with training.

i got myself all psyched up, thinking about my running future. but i lack discipline, and determination, and will power. training, as i recall, was hell. 2 rounds around the freaking lake was like a nightmare. i wanted to give up at some point, finding it not worth the effort.

i don't know how exactly did i get back on track. perhaps it was mere encouragement from my parents n brother, perhaps it was still the constant reminder of my victorious Larian Mesra...i don't know. all i can say if i have no regrets. i ran in school, then for school. i participated in races all over the place, mostly for myself. i can't remember when i started running for Uncle Peter for Malakoff. i think it's 3 years ago if i'm not mistaken. and now i'm biking and swimming for him too. and i travel to at least 3 states every year to do these things, all on weekends, where i would return to the bitter reality of school/college on Monday.

when i started off, running gave me a sense of confidence. it became my personality, my identity. people knew me as a runner. and i enjoyed it. i enjoyed the fact that i was a tough girl, outrunning fellow schoolmates. i enjoyed the fact that i am sporty and active, and not whimsy and fragile like most other girls. being an ordinary teenage girl, i so wanted to outshine every girl there, so i could be noticed.

after running for a significant period of time, running no longer gave me the satisfaction of attracting others. i mean, that didn't matter anymore. running became an obssession. i was aiming to better myself. aiming to win. and i did. i was slashing my PB by 5-10 minutes each run i took part in. i was on a roll. my brother envied me, saying that i'm improving so rapidly while he was just constant. my dad started taking my runs more seriously, saying that i was a "medal prospect". like when the flag off time was stated, he'd make sure i was there an hour before so i could warm up properly. or if i pinned my number tags on, he'd make sure they don't come off easily or anything. my gimrama coach noticed the change in my stamina and commented on what she labelled as "marathon thighs". she'd ask me to stop running for gim's sake but did i? hell no!

but then i went under Uncle Peter's P2K teams and i was categorized under the "fun teams". winning is not to be thought of as i competed with people almost twice my age, and men too. i started to enjoy running more, enjoy the event more. i made a lot of new friends and i look forward to each time i go. i still try to better myself, always hoping that someday i wouldnt be on the "fun team" but rather on the "medal prospect team". i haven't quite reached that point, as competition is getting keener n keener.

anyway, nowadays, i no longer run to train. i do get conscious of myself once in a while, if i had laid off running for a while. i start to worry about my timing, then my weight. when that happens, i try to drag myself to put on those trainers and get my butt off the couch.

but one thing, however, would make me jump into my Clima Cools and race off. and that's when i'm laden with issues. when college gets too tough, i run. when family squabbles occur (often on my account), i run. when i'm troubled, i run. when i'm stressed, i run. and when i'm sad and confused, i sprint.

and usually, it works. usually i would come home feeling a lot lighter, a lot happier, a lot calmer. usually.

somehow today, even running wasn't therapeutic enough.

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