Run run run
(New Balance 665 running shoes, which I pimped with a “+1”)
For as long as I can remember, I have always hated running. As a small child, apparently i could barely run. It must have looked really awkward. In primary school, they had these races between schools. I never participated, except for one time, out of curiosity. I ended last but one, way behind the rest, but before this other immigrant kid who didn’t even have proper sports attire or running shoes. (I have a distinct memory of my then childhood sweetheart, standing by the side of the track, shouting “Zet ‘m op Nil!”. And I also remember how, when she ran, with her grey and pink Reebok trainers, her hair would bop up and down but totally straight, as if it were spaghetti - seriously, my exact thoughts at that moment.) In secundary school, i was below average in sports, but running was perhaps what i hated most, after gymnastics (which was just way too dangerous for anybody in his right mind to try).
I liked roller blading, cycling, hiking and trekking, and I also started swimming again a couple of years ago, but running? Nah. That is, until last summer, when on a (admittedly somewhat premeditated) whim, I bought a cheap pair of running shoes and started running, just like that. I got hooked pretty much immediately, I guess also because you notice how you improve so fast. The exhilaration of your first 5 km! And then the first 10 km! Hey you know what!? Running can be fun! If you had told me a year ago that I would one day run 10 km for fun, I would have laughed at you. And yet, there you go. Strange things happen.
The culmination of this process will take place tomorrow, Sunday 27th of May (by coincidence the exact date of my return back to Belgium last year): I will be running a 20 km race. That’s probably the most insane thing I’ve ever done. Or at least the biggest physical challenge ever. I’ll be running with 29,999 other people (minus a few cancellations), but it will be an extremely individualistic undertaking. I’m not competing againts anybody else (well, perhaps technically I am), I just have to deal with myself, and somehow finish that race. And not die in the process.
I’m superstoked. My right knee somewhat less so.
Talk to you tomorrow…
PS - Iron Maiden have a song called “The loneliness of the long distance runner”, but it’s not a very good one. Still, I might have to play it today.