“I am a RUNNER, because I run. Not because I run fast, not because I run far.”
It was only 2 months ago that I did my first 3K run with Nike and I know 3K is not a lot, but I still remember how I felt when I completed it. I was an inexplicable feeling. During my next run that was my first 5K, I decided no matter what, I will not stop. The pain in my knees was less as compared to the last time. Maybe I was adapting to it.
I remember when I was informed that my third run will be of 7K I was literally so frightened that I thought it is not possible and I kept making excuses. But the Nike team was very supportive and they kept encouraging me throughout. And I started thinking about my first run and the feeling I got before that. That feeling of “I can’t do it”. But I did. Not just that, even a 5K after that. It was the time period between my 5K and 7K run that I realized this is more of a mental battle that persuades us to give up. So I decided I will give it my all. And here I am, writing about completing my 7K run.
My 7K run was slightly different than my other two runs. Simply because my first two runs were during the day time, but this run was at dusk. I really thought the time of running makes a difference but it does not. It won’t matter at what time of the day you are running. You will feel good anytime you run.
We were all gathered at the Janaki Devi Football Turf at Lokhandwala back road where I met around 50 like minded crazies who turned up for the event. I also met my running partner Megha, with whom I did my 5K as well. She is an amazing lifestyle blogger who perfectly manages her full time job and still finds time to keep her blog active. There was just so much madness in the air. Before the run, they showed us a Break Through documentary. It was such an inspiring video that we were all pumped up and motivated for the run. We did our warm up ritual and we were all ready to run under the street lights. Whether you run during the day or at night, THAT feeling is the same.
The pacers that were leading us were constantly motivating us. In fact, all of us, we were just there for each other. There’s nothing like a little support, solidarity and laughter with a group of likeminded people to feed your soul and boost your happiness. That was the time I realised that running isn’t just about health or weight loss. It’s the friendships we build, being part of something bigger, the supportive community, the thrill of race day, the highs and lows of training, the body benefits and THAT feeling; that dizzying high that, unlike gorging on cake actually good for you.
The run was supposed to be of 7K but when we reached back to the football turf we realized that the run was only for 5K and we are done with it. I don’t know what was that feeling but I felt bad, that I couldn’t do my first 7K today, which I really wanted to. And what happened next, was the most bewildering part of my 7K run. We left, Again. To complete our remaining 2K, just Megha and I. And while running for those 2K I was so proud of myself. I felt strong, I felt motivated. Megha had a knee sprain but she did it anyway. That time I realized it’s more about your mind than your body. If you tell your mind you want to achieve something, it will make sure that you do if even your body gives up somewhere in the middle. It’s brilliant how you set your mind to something and it keeps working towards it, that it gets easier and easier.
When I was done with my 7K, at that very moment, I felt I can do literally anything.
A thing that was common in all my runs was the sense of achievement at the finish line. Running is not just about what it makes you feel on the outside but it’s really about how it makes you feel on the inside. It makes you so positive and happy about life. It gives us a way to connect with both an incredible community of people and to the world around us. There’s room for all of us in running; despite the fact that it’s a solo sport, there’s strength in numbers. When I think about my running accomplishments, they all happened because I had the support of a friend or a complete stranger who stepped up when they saw me struggling. But most importantly, it reminds me to chase goals that scare me.
Running has taught me about grit, dedication and overcoming self doubt than I ever thought possible. I feel like it has literally changed my life and my perspective about it. And I hear you, it’s just running. How can running change your life?
It Can and It Did. Running is a source of empowerment and if you’re willing to stick with it long enough, it can teach you how to love who you are. Whether you are completely new to running, or you’ve been running for months or years, running can have a positive impact on all areas of your life.
My hope is that this post will inspire you to see running not as a weight loss or fitness tool, but as a journey in your own personal growth.
Give it – and yourself – a chance, and enjoy the journey that it takes you on.
Until next time.