For the Love of Running

It’s the week of love, folks. Heart-shaped balloons, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, red red roses in cellophane, schmaltzy cards and crooning ballads streaming over the airwaves — all designed to show love love love. So, we’ll be steering right quick away from all that, okay? Instead, we’ll be showing our love for the form of sport that gets us going – the one we love the most. Maybe there’ll be hearts involved.

I love running. Now. But, not so much in the past. There was no love at first run. More like humiliation. Sure, I ran during field hockey games, but not long distance. Until that one time. A cross country race when I was thirteen. I came dead last. And I wasn’t used to sucking at sports.

There was no wish to conquer long-distance running after that, I stuck with what I was good at, thanks. So, the years passed, I changed schools and had to start riding a bike everyday. Got rock solid thighs, and during our school’s tiny athletic event I came second in the 400 metre race. And then I loved running, right? Nope.

More years passed, none of them filled with any type of running, I came to America, joined the military, went to basic training and flat out conquered the 2 mile running event in 16 minutes. Must have been all those 5 AM wake-ups, made this girl s-t-r-o-n-g. I loved my body at that moment, what a great feeling.

After that success, I ran everyday, right? Nope. Well, yes: under duress in the muggy Mississippi heat and in fits and starts in the humid New Jersey heat. But none of those runs made me love running. I was coming at it from the wrong angle – with the, “I’m doing this to get fit” as motivation. Which doesn’t work.

As I’ve mentioned before, it was my sister’s early morning wake-ups to go running together that changed everything. She loved it so much a little bit of that passion rubbed off onto me. She’s the marathon runner in the family, I’m still trying to conquer that 13-year old girl’s fear of being last. But now I love to lace up the takkies, to the point where life sucks without the road beneath my feet. So, thanks for that, sis — maybe I should send you some hearts and flowers…

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