I’ve always wanted to write about this but my thoughts have been in an organised mess! I hope this is not too confusing. Here goes!
How Did You Get Into Running?
I always get questions about my running journey. I didn’t think much of it until I was required to write about it.
If you’ve always wondered or are a little curious, here’s the story, straight from the source!
*I’m pretty sure you’ve never heard this side of the story!*
I wish I could say that I was an athlete back in high school. I was not. In fact, I hated running. But I was very active in everything else (rock climbing, basketball, table tennis, swimming etc). I had to be active because I had an appetite of a dinosaur (still do). I was a bottomless pit. My high school “DBKL” nickname still stands!
I had no problem with the way I looked. Thankfully, social media had less of an influence during my younger days. We did whatever we wanted, ate whatever we wanted and just focused on having a good time.
My whole perspective changed when 2 people (one was my friend and the other was a complete stranger that I met through an event) commented about the way I looked and that I should change to fit the people around me.
I was surprised that I was affected by what they said because I don’t usually give a hoot. What more, it came from a total stranger!
Watch what you say to others, words cut deeper than razor blades
The Bible says “The tongue has the power of life and death…” Proverbs 18:21
I picked up running for “health reasons” (as I would like to call it. Haha!). Losing weight played the biggest role in this equation.
I am quite the determined and focused sort. If I set my mind and heart to it, I usually get it done. And in this case, I did. I dedicated 30 minutes of running 4 times a week and watched what I ate. Of course back then, I didn’t know much about exercise and nutrition.
I managed to lose weight, a LOT of it! Within 2.5 years, I lost 15kg. My lowest at 35kg!
Looking back, those were some really crazy times! But back then, I thought it was pretty normal because I was running/exercising and I guess that sounded OKAY. What I didn’t know was that I was overdoing it without proper nutrition.
Hate is such a strong word. I think I prefer dislike. I ran because I didn’t like the way I looked.
I remember my first race at Putrajaya with some friends. I started from the back, made it through the crowd and finished within the top 20. I was shocked and felt a sense of achievement.
I started joining bigger events (Nike, Standard Chartered, Energizer, Shape etc). Still, I didn’t have it in mind to compete. I didn’t care about the timing, goodies, medals or race tee. I was just there to get in a good workout.
Wanting a good workout doesn’t seem like such a bad thing, right? But my mind wasn’t in the right place. I ran for negative reasons and that should NEVER be the way. Your mind set is very important. Your perspective of something affects how you feel and what you do about it.
Let’s fast forward to the love of running part and sweep my internal battles away. You can drop me an email if you want to find out more or need any help.
December 2015 would mark the second year of better running years.
It all started when my boss challenged me at the Desa Park City Run 2013. Despite starting 8 minutes later than everyone else (fashionably late as usual!), I overtook him at km 7 and I got a month’s pay for that! Fun times!
Learning to have some fun!
I picked up running again (I stopped running/jogging for about a year during my final year in Uni). This time, a little seriously. I committed my time to the Puma Running Club.
I found a bunch of very dedicated runners and I made a lot of running friends along the way (I knew NONE of them).
Through the running club and my friends, I understood the technical side of running. It was still all too technical for me because I didn’t really care about the numbers. Whenever they get too geeky, I’d roll my eyes (jokingly!).
Through running, I was able to see how capable my body was. And I loved that. The focus was not just to get in a good workout. 😉
Think Like An Athlete, Train Like One
In mid-July 2014, I had the opportunity to train with Coach Mark for the Standard Chartered Full Marathon distance. It was something VERY new and exciting. I never knew what “proper training” was. I was exposed to how athletes train, eat and recover.
A lot of discovery there!
As you can see, it was a very long journey (over 6-7 years). And I struggled. Everyone comes from somewhere and everyone has a story to tell.This Christmas, I am reminded that Jesus was born and because of Him, I am free. 🙂
From what someone said to hating myself to running in a negative way to loving every bit of running to making it part of my future career, everything came together perfectly.
I questioned every struggle I had and then, I realised God had it all planned out. Were it not for what that person said, I probably wouldn’t have started running! So, THANK YOU!
Gratitude, Purpose, Passion
In whatever you do, do it with gratitude, with purpose and with passion!
Currently, that’s why I’m running.
Because I CAN
It is still pretty much a love hate relationship. It gives you so much pain and satisfaction at the same time. Knowing that you can pull through the pain during a race and reaching that finish line is GOLD. It takes every inch of will power, strength, determination and a little insanity to go through the pain. And that spills over to your daily life.
I am blessed to be able to walk/run/move. Looking back, I hate myself for hating myself in the first place! Every cell in my body is working HARD towards keeping me alive and YOU have every reason to love it (love yourself that is. You can love me too :P).
If you have nothing nice to say, I’m going to pull this face and continue running! 😛
Falling ill from dengue this year threw me into a deeper realisation of life and made me realise (even more) how blessed I am to be alive and healthy.
Concept of Self
That concept will always be evolving, with time, with experiences and with people. With every encounter (good or bad), comes a deeper understanding of who you are. You won’t have it all figured out. You may THINK you do until you come face to face with a new encounter that forces you to reassess everything you know about yourself. It is OKAY! You will get there.
And I have come a long way, falling hard time and time again only to climb back up. I don’t expect you to understand where I’m coming from. Everyone runs for a different reason. So, don’t try to shove your running dogma on someone else. Not everyone is out there to run like an athlete or chase their PB. 🙂
Because with every setback, comes a greater comeback.
So, there you go.
This is my story.