Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Dear Running,

Chanced upon this article by Coach Jenny and while reading it, there was a warm feeling in my heart. I couldn't have said it any better.

Running & I were never friends, not even acquaintances. It was an activity I dreaded and avoided like plague during my school days. Even during netball trainings where running is a crucial portion to improve our stamina, it was always something I was dreading. Whenever it started pouring during trainings, I will be rejoicing in my heart on the successful attempt to avoid that boring activity of staring into blank space and torturing my legs. It brings no results and no satisfaction, unlike a game on court where there's scores and a goal-post.

Right now, running has became a very integral part of me and I can't imagine my life without it. Not best friends yet, but a friend that I see for at least 4 times a week. And not equivalent to breathing or eating but it now ranks above shopping, which really says alot due to me being an ultra shopaholic (main reason that I started this blog). I used to breathe clothes, bags and shoes and still do, but I have found running to be a more therapeutic, cheaper and less stressful activity. I feel free when I run, free from stress and thoughts that hold me bondage. It has offered me a ray of hope, helped me to build confidence and made me smile on my worst days. I owe my current optimism and grit to running, all thanks to my best friend who casually invited me to sign up for a race 5 years ago.

I may be slightly late to say this - but better late than never. Happy Running Day. Thank you for changing my life for the better. Thank you for never judging me.

You made me smile at the end of race even during the most painful stretch or under the hottest weather, just like last Sunday's Standard Chartered Marathon.


And here's the article that speaks volume and runners can totally relate.

Dear Running,

If you would have told me that I’d be writing a thank you note to you 20 years ago, I would have laughed out loud. That’s because I used to hate you. You weren’t the joyful activity that I know you to be now; instead you represented punishment and pain.

I was made to run when I missed a volleyball serve or a layup on the basketball court. I wrongly associated you with negative vibes, and for that, I’m sorry.

The funny thing is, once we were properly introduced and I got to know you over time, I found that I not only enjoy but love you and your many benefits. You’re not so painful after all. This taught me that all good things come from the effort we put into them.

It surprised me to learn that you welcome runners of all levels, ages, and sizes, which was fortunate for me at the time because I was very slow and chubby. Perhaps this is why you’re so globally popular. 

Your open arms have inspired me to reach beyond my self-perceived limits and to authentically connect with some pretty cool people, with whom I can talk about anything and everything (like chafing) and receive a deep level of support when I need it.

Thank you for helping me build confidence and self esteem.

Thank you for aiding me in losing the weight I carried as a protective barrier.

Thank you for making me smile when life’s sadness rolled into town.

Thank you for giving me something to strive toward, reach, and celebrate.

Thank you for the hard, humbling runs because I now know that these are the ones that have taught me the most.

Thank you for all the beautifully earned views and vistas, especially the Grand Canyon.

Thank you for inspiring many creative ideas for columns, books, and running adventures. 

Thank you for getting me up early for all the sunrises and the many long runs with wonderful people along Chicago’s Lakefront Trail.

Thank you for the swag, the medals, and the shopping opportunities. Who would have thought this tomboy would love running in a skirt!

Thank you for the stinky rides in vans during relay races, the pickles at the trail aid stations, and the s’mores and campfire songs in the staged races I’ve run. These little things are what make active memories for a lifetime.

Thank you for teaching me that passing the joy of running on to others will be my greatest reward in life.

And finally, thank you for always being there – whether fast or slow, home or away, sunshine or rain, short or long – your presence is a gift in my life, and for that, I’m grateful.

Happy Running Day.

Coach Jenny Hadfield


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