When I met KK, I was not a runner. In fact I could think of nothing worse than to put myself through “that kind of torture”. I never even belonged to a gym. Yet when we met, we just clicked. I would often go with him to the road races, but always take a pillow with and snooze on the back seat of the car. It was bliss. It never seemed to bug either one of us that our weekends were so unmatched.
Just out of the blue, I decided that maybe I should give running a try. I hated it. Those first few kilometres were absolute hell and there were days when I questioned why I was actually trying it. But I hung in there. Starting with 4km runs around my neighbourhood, then a 10km and finally managing to do half marathons.
This weekend, KK and I celebrated our 12 year wedding anniversary. Time has flown by so quickly and I’m amazed at just how much we’ve both changed and also grown closer. I truly believe that the fact that I started running has meant we are able to share our time together more often.
I’m sometimes asked if the fact that we both run makes our relationship stronger. Yes and no. A part of me always thinks back to those early days and remembers that even though I never ran, I still supported KK and knew how much it meant to him. I was still there. And even though we might not run at the same pace today, the fact that I now also wake up at ungodly hours on a weekend to go run a race means a lot. To the both of us.
It shouldn’t really matter what each other decides to do in life, as long as we do it together.
I did not start 2013 off with a bag of New Year’s resolutions like I always do. I decided that this year, there’s only one thing which I will focus on: It’s to ensure I surround myself with positive people, those that want to see me succeed and those that encourage me to reach my goals.
Let me tell you a quick story…
In 2010, I did not make the Two Oceans 3 hour half marathon cut off time. I missed it by 6 minutes. I can still remember the route clearly and the sections where I struggled most and desperately needed that extra push. But instead, I was surrounded by “supporters” who let me down. You see, running at my pace of 8mins/km, I’m typically at the back of the pack surrounded by the backmarkers and walkers. It’s not usually a big crowd but stragglers who are huffing and puffing. On this particular day, as I was running along, desperate to make up time, I passed many people standing along side the route who did not realise that whatever they said was heard by every runner passing them.
“These guys will never make it, they are too far behind.”
“Oh no, look at these so-called runners. Why bother if you can’t run at a decent pace?”
Shouts of “Stop walking, run. This is a running race, not a walk!”
I let it all get to me and it was very difficult to push myself being surrounded by these negative statements. I allowed myself to believe what they said, and I gave up. By the time I reached University Drive and KK came running down to meet me, I did not have enough energy to give it that extra push and try beat the clock. I just cried. I did not make it. No medal. DNF.
When I look back now, I realised that it was my own fault. The lesson for me is that I should not have listened to them. I should’ve believed in myself and pushed myself. I should’ve drowned them out with the supporters that were cheering me on, wanting me to have a good race. But in life, how easy is to allow the naysayers to break your spirit. How often do we listen to people who are negative and do not believe in us? We allow them to plant those seeds of self-doubt. We end up not believing in ourselves.
So in 2013, at work, at home and especially during the races, I will seek out those ‘supporters’ who cheer me on. The ones who believe in me and get me to that finish line so that I reach my goals! Here’s to a fantastic 2013!