On running

Running isn’t a sport for pretty boys…It’s about the sweat in your hair and the blisters on your feet. Its the frozen spit on your chin and the nausea in your gut. It’s about throbbing calves and cramps at midnight that are strong enough to wake the dead. It’s about getting out the door and running when the rest of the world is only dreaming about having the passion that you need to live each and every day with. It’s about being on a lonely road and running like a champion even when there’s not a single soul in sight to cheer you on. Running is all about having the desire to train and persevere until every fiber in your legs, mind, and heart is turned to steel. And when you’ve finally forged hard enough, you will have become the best runner you can be. And that’s all that you can ask for.” 

Paul Maurer. The Gift – A Runner’s Story

Today I woke up at 4 am to put in a cheeky 10k run before my day kicks off. When I was somewhere half way through, on a lonely lane without streetlights, I saw a white figure materializing in the darkness – another runner! We waved and smiled at each other, and both acknowledged the craziness of being up and out of cozy bed at this ungodly hour.

My adult and fully conscious journey to fitness started with running. Weight-lifting, cross-fitting, triathlons came later but till now running remains my favorite and the most satisfying sport and therapy. Meeting that lonely runner on the road this morning made me think, why is it that I am loving the running community so much?

Runners are probably the friendliest bunch I’ve ever met, and this morning is a great example. I cycle regularly and most of the times I meet a fellow cyclist on the road and wave, nod or say hi, in return I just get a blank stare. I am not sure if they are scared to let go of the handle bars and fall, or smiling will disturb their aerodynamic position and create unnecessary drag or I am just meeting a unique species of “unfriendly Dubai cyclist”… Don’t get me wrong, cyclists are otherwise great guys and bike porn is what I look at when I get extra cash in the pocket…

I look at all these great runners that I admire and I cannot help but wonder  – they are doing something that others consider impossible, they have tested their mental and physical abilities beyond the limits anyone imagined, and still they remain so humble and genuine! Working at a grocery stores or supermarket to pay the bills and leading a very simple and unremarkable life and then heading out of the door and doing unbelievable things that noone might even get to know about.

Each and every sport needs a lot of passion, sacrifice and determination, but running has this unique combination of simplicity, solitude, mental stamina and perseverance that attracts a special kind of person. I think for many of those who run, running is more than just a sport or a way of keeping fit – it is a me-time, time to think or empty your mind, to de-stress, meditate and find peace with yourself.

7 thoughts on “On running

  1. pwhent

    I agree with every word. Cyclists are great fun if you are in a pack with them but anti-social if you meet them coming the other way. And your point about running is spot on. It is therapy, thinking time, positive and life-enhancing all in one. Like you I also try triathlon but I never forget my first love!!!

    Reply
  2. fitin52

    I’ve nominated your for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

    Here are the rules:

    ~Display the award logo on your blog (copy and paste it from my blog)
    ~Link back to the person who nominated you
    ~State 7 things about yourself
    ~Nominate 15 bloggers for this award and link to them
    ~Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

    Keep blogging!

    Reply

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