About 3 years ago I came across this Facebook event of a trail run taking place at a nearby golf estate. With my dad being an avid runner back in the day I was determined to try it out and see if I would be any good. Also I was keen to have some quality time with my dad and do something that I knew he would enjoy.
The event had two options, 5kilometers or 10kilometers. Of course being a newbie I signed up for a 5km as I was already questioning if I was going to survive 500 meters. The vibe at the run was great. Music was pumping, everyone at the race was friendly and I was quite excited to get going. Head touches at the ready, a couple quad and hamstring stretches later and the marshal on the microphone counts down. 3, 2, 1 and go.
The first kilometer I thought my life was about to end and that this was my last couple minutes on planet earth. My calves were burning, my achilles felt like I was taking each step and leaving them a meter behind to tag along. My shins felt like I was in some kind of nightmare and the bad man was hacking through my bones (kidding, thats a bit extreme). Anyways the point is that the first kilometer was very tough and I was really struggling.
A couple minutes later, (I say a couple but it was probably about 20 minutes) I had run about 4kilometers. At this point the aches and pains had either gone or I had shifted my attention onto something else. In the final kilometer I felt like I had barely run the 500 meters I thought I wasn’t going to survive. I had set my race pace and there was no ways I was going to stop at 5kilometers. About 100 meters before the finish line the marshal shouts “10km keep left, 5km keep right” at this point I had a million thoughts going through my brain, so I left the decision to my feet. They chose the 10km.
First run ever and I completed 10 kilometers. Yes my body hurt quite a bit once I stopped but the level of accomplishment that I felt at that point far outweighed any pain I was feeling. I, for one know that running has so many benefits. It’s good for your heart, can strengthen your joints, and a whole bunch of other things. The benefit I want to speak to you guys about has nothing to do with the physical aspects.
Running for me is time I take out for myself to do nothing other than run. It’s literally an opportunity to go outside and just put your life on hold for a few minutes. Whenever I’m stressed, over worked, tired, annoyed, happy or frustrated I go for a run. We all know that exercise releases happy hormones so I can almost guarantee you that the moment you’re done you are going to feel a million times better than you did before.
I would encourage everyone to get up and go for a run. Not because you’re trying to lose weight or get fit but because it’s a beautiful opportunity to have time with yourself and your body.