Running. It makes you feel like, running a little more.
A year and a half ago, I was fat, unfit and leading a sedentary lifestyle. During summer breaks, I literally lazed through the mornings and afternoons and eat and sit in front of the computer in the nights. I ate unhealthy and oily food, snacks and go for frequent suppers. I weighed like an elephant and I did not care.
And one day someone called me out for a run. The word was never found in my dictionary. It was one of the scariest words around; “running”. I loathed it because it brought bad memories during my JC times; the NAPFA tests, the 3 rounds around the track before playing any games, the annual cross country meet, etc. The feeling of moving my legs in front of another at a pace where you have to pant just wasn’t my cup of tea. I hated the feeling of the lungs almost jumping out from my throat, the heart beating so hard like it had never pumped before and the soreness of the legs post exercise.
Then he came along again, this time I was left with no choice but to join him for runs (and swim sessions). Throughout the running session I was silent, not because I had nothing to talk to, but I cannot catch my breath fast enough to spill a light conversation. My mind was, however, thinking of how this session could bring me out of my sedentary lifestyle. At least I am doing something that I have not done before in a long time. After a few sessions of running, I beginning to enjoy It, although the endless torture still lingered in my mind, I told myself to strive for further distances… I thought… longer distances like 10km or more were impossible, totally impossible for someone like me…
So I did the unthinkable. I signed up for my debut marathon on December 2009. After clicking the confirmed button, I told myself that I was in deep trouble. How in the world would I complete 42km in one shot?
So I ran. I ran more during term time. The more I ran, the more I like it. The distances got longer. My pace got faster. I started to get addicted to running. I ran for the scenery, for the wind, for the occasional pouring rain. Time and again I felt better when my legs were moving, each step faster and further than the other. I was determined to complete the marathon, and I ran with the mindset that this is a challenge to me.
The more I ran, the more I shocked my friends. Positive praises came in. I looked slimmer. Some didn’t believe what happened to me. Some asked what was my secret formula and some thought I was a complete joke. Time and again I proved these critics wrong; the more I ran, the more people were influenced and got hooked to running. I felt good to spread this disease around.
The marathon was never enough. Although it was gruesome, tiring, painful and mind blowing, the feeling of running through the finishing line cannot be explained. The joy that I felt inside me was beyond description. Once 2.4km was too much for me, now 42km was never enough.
And so I did the first ultramarathon earlier this year. More people were shocked, as I only attempted one marathon before this run. I thought I was crazy too, because I didn’t really think of anything when I signed up. On the run itself I thought I could never complete it, but with the runners’ motivation, I persevered on. Running through the night with people from different walks of life coming together was a joyous occasion. As I ran I spoke to many ultra-runners and asked what their reasons for running were and they shared the same sentiments as me; to achieve something in their life, to break their boundaries, to test their limits and to go for higher heights. I crossed the finishing line with pride, as an ultramarathoner.
Why do I run? I run for the fun of it. I run to test myself. I run to break the wind. I run to stay fit. I run to lead by an example. I run to do stupid things that people never even dream of doing so. I run, because I love to run. I run because I am crazy.