Why We Run (Special Edition)

Hi everyone 🙂

It’s almost the end of semester AY12/13 and It’s been a while that we didn’t update WHY WE RUN PAGE, so I think this is a great time to add-on others crosser (new, current and senior)  WHY he/she runs 🙂

Enjoy reading !!!

P.S: Scroll down  😉

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Edmund:

Why do I run?

Why indeed. Countless occasions have prompted this seemingly simple question in my head: repeated injuries, the sheer exhaustion from intervals and refraining from eating your 500ml tub of Ben and Jerry’s (that I bought to treat myself) for 3 months. I am pretty sure that everyone can relate to a similar event that forces them to question themselves on the decision to run. However, something mystical about running just keeps us at it, making us stubbornly run mile after mile, day after day. So what is this mystical thing? To some, it can be as simple as losing weight, because the process of losing weight is a grand adventure with elusive results. For others, running is something spiritual, something that binds them to their soul and gives them life. Still, the majority run simply to ensure that the earth keeps rotating so that everyone can experience day and night.

But why do I run?

When I was born eons ago, I immediately knew I was a runner. I had legs. Although everyone started learning how to walk before they could run, I did just the exact opposite. You know what my previous sentence was? Bullshit. Still, I picked up running really quickly. I would spend almost every recess time in primary school playing catch. I was so proficient at running and evasion techniques that it took a collective effort from a gang of 5 friends to actually catch me. At that time, I thought: “man I am such an awesome runner”. Indeed, I was the pivotal runner/sprinter that actually helped my class clinch the top class-relay medal. I was very encouraged with this result. It was a vicious cycle of ego and running to maintain that ego that kept me running (catching is a form of interval training). Also, I would train alone for my NAFA test. The results were satisfying: coming in 8th place in my level for the 1.6km NAFA test.

So, was that the running seed I sowed back then? Perhaps it was.

One of the greatest regret in my life was to not enroll into track and field in secondary school. I had no idea what I was doing then. What a retard. I stopped running regularly and seriously for an extended duration of approximately 4 years. I then entered junior college. Since I was in an all-boys school for a whopping 10 years, I was like, wooah, who’s that hot chick over there? Then I started running again (no, not to chase them). I trained alone and primarily for my NAFA test. However, it was unfortunate that the elements of the earth and the spirits of the wild were not with me. I had a terrible shin splint (except I didn’t know it was a shin splint then). It was excruciating to even walk and I required assistance to stand up on a few occasions. Undoubtedly, I had to stop running. It was a major setback for me.

During my time in the army, everybody was forced to run. It was then that I discovered the joy of running long distances. Whenever I attain cruising speed and feel that I have absolute control over everything, the elation and bliss that runs through every nerve ending in my body is just mind-blowingly stupefying; you are one with nature, the cosmos, the heavens and it just feels like you can run forever.

After I ended my stint in the army, I continued my long distance running, with particular attention paid towards the marathon. When I matriculated at NUS, I automatically signed up for cross country and never regretted that decision. There are so many good runners there whom I have great respect for and they continually serve as an inspiration to me.

Besides, my ultimate goal is to eventually run as seamlessly and effortlessly as the Ethiopians and Kenyans. Watching them run is like appreciating an ancient primordial art, an art of motion long lost among city dwellers. While I may never attain their l337 timings, achieving their running form will be one of my life’s most noble goals.

Clearly, I am not a fast runner, but I actively try to improve it. You see, speed is like a drug, it gives you an addiction: the faster you go, the more you want to run to cut your timings even further. However, repeated injuries have slowed and hindered my progress. Still, I will not abandon running as I have a goal to work towards. To me, running is a natural expression of human motion perfected across the ages, a lifestyle that is both tough yet rewarding. Minor setbacks are no reason to stop pursuing this exquisite human art.

The reasons why people run are deep, diverse and complex. Differing life experiences shape the runner he is today.

Why do I run?

I run because I can. I run because its life. I run because I was born to run (major reference here).

Do you run?

(P.S: the tub of Ben and Jerry’s still lie half full)

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Yann: 

NUS cross country team meets 4 times a week to run, indeed, we enjoy running very much.
However, I would like to add some reasons that make running very attractive to me…

First, I consider running a universal sport as virtually anyone can run on any road and weather.
I have run in the countryside of France beneath 2000-year-old aqueducts in my hometown, in the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris, in gardens in Cambridge, or along the Thames in London among others… and right now in Singapore!

As a universal sport, winning the World Championship makes you very much the World Champion, since every athlete should be able to train (up to a certain point) without the need of building heavy infrastructures (putting aside any “external” reasons).

Second, running is a very fair sport.
Indeed, there are no judges or referees per say to crown the winner. The best wins the race; there is no point to count or appreciation to give. You “just” need to be faster than the others. This is you and your potential, you and your breath, you and your heart.

Third, overtaking yourself makes a lot of sense as it is measured by one very physical concept (difficult to argue): a time.

The World record, the Singaporean or the French records are set in hours, minutes, seconds, hundredth of second even… and this record is universal, set in “marble” and available to beat at each competition. This record is a universal competitor and everyone on his local track can try to appreciate “the pace of it” (if one has the ability to do so… J).

 Finally, running helps you to discover yourself.

A good training and a good competition are not just about giving everything from the start (if only so…). It is about being consistent over a fixed distance to achieve the right target or ranking, and believe me or not, it takes a lot of training to be able to “master” the right effort….

So, if you are still reading this note up to that point, that you are from NUS but not yet part of the NUS cross country team, why don’t you come down and try to challenge yourself in a fair and fun manner in one of our training!
See you soon!
Yann

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Jennifer: “At first it was so I had a good reason to listen to music on good headphones for more than an hour. Now I don’t even know anymore because there’s no music during intervals! ”
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Eugene: “To chase after girls”

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Samantha Wong: “To keep fit and destress! Sounds funny but its really good for you”

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Nisha: “hmm..running keeps me sane and contented. pushing myself to test my limits, striving to better myself and also to keep fit! it’s just something i find very enjoyable and gives me a sense of accomplishment every time i finish a run, be it short or long distance”

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Joseph Liew: 

“The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began,
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many path and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.” LOTR – Fellowship of the Rings

I never saw running as a form of escape. Rather, I see running as a progress to a goal.

When I entered races and joined the team, the idea of setting goals and striving for it were concentrated into training sessions and target paces. I enjoyed coming down regularly. Discipline in repetitive intervals was relaxing – because it was a habit. Yet, the struggle to better a pace at each training made the habit exciting. Every Tuesday and Friday, I look forward to run. I feel like a curious kid wondering “What’s gonna happen today? Can I beat a PB today?”

At times, when I close my eyes, I feel that I am running on the “D” turn of the track. I have started to love the red track and the white lanes *LOL*

Azrul might remember that I used to complain that intervals is the most boring thing ever. It’s no longer so now. Even more so is the thrill of races. The fear of “Will I (stop)?” becomes an excited hope of “will I (achieve)”

There’s a song that run’s in my head when I run each day. It’s about believing. And that’s why I run.

“Some will win, some will lose
Some were born to sing the blues
Oh, the movie (run) never ends
It goes on and on and on and on

Don’t stop believin’
Hold on to the feelin’
Streetlights, people
Don’t stop!”

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Bhavesh: “Because it makes me feel free

And the only time in nus where I can control

And choose how to spend my time”

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Rui Yong: 

Well for a start my secondary school had no soccer for a cca haha. If not I probably would have ended up as a footballer. So when they had cca trials I was drafted into cross country. I wasn’t fast then though. Only after years of training then I reached the top. Not like some really talented guys who were really owning when we were 13-14years old. But yeah in running usually those that train harder outperform the talented ones eventually. Especially for long distance. I didn’t like going for training when I was in sec 1. Just wanted to go home after school. But the more I trained the fitter I got. The fitter I got the more I enjoyed my runs (less painful)
And eventually I started winning but more importantly realised that running had taught me so much and changed my life
Gave a me something constructive to focus on in life
If not I might not have been as focused and made it to uni and all that could have ended up clubbing everyday.
But anyway yeah like a perfect love story
Running and I progressed from acquaintances to “just friends” to soulmates.
And even though I get annoyed with having to do it sometimes I know it’ll always be a part of me”

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E-main: “hahahahahahahahahaha I like running because it’s liberating and i can be with my friends”

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Si Hui: “haha I like to run cuz it keeps me fit and makes me feel good  and I can still chomp on brownies and ice cream without feeling guilty hehe ”

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Alright, hope you enjoy reading this WWR special Edition , you might not know who they are but hope that these words will inspire you haha 🙂
And remember, Keep on Running, you’ll never know where it’ll take you to, until you begin your step 🙂

NUS Cross Country AY12/13 

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