No, this post isn’t related to Haruki Murakami’s memoir about marathon, in case you wonder (and no, I haven’t read it). It’s just a bunch of thoughts and nostalgia that has been popping out of my mind while running.
Lately, I’ve been trying to make morning run / jog as a routine, either weekly or even more frequently. It’s not my first time or to be exact about it, it’s always been on my New Year’s resolution; to lose some weight and live a healthier life. I hate to admit that I’m a typical person who feels so excited-almost-exploded about something for the first couples of times (or days or weeks) then simply forgets it. To think about it again, it’s not only about me being inconsistent but also because I’ve always been afraid of running.
It’s not only running I’m afraid of. I’ve always hated sports. If I were a word, I would undoubtedly be the antonym of ‘sporty’. I grew up being haunted by physical subject at school. When I was in elementary school, I was so fat and slow. I wasn’t good at sport or any kind of physical activity (except swimming). I was lame at any kind of sport game and I knew that even my good friends would not choose me for their team. It didn’t matter much because I was good (and sometimes ‘best’) at the rest; science, social subjects, language, art, or dealing with computer. On the other hand, since there was nothing I could equally hate at school, my only nightmare during exam weeks then was running / physical subject exam. It’s natural, isn’t it, to hate something you aren’t good at?
During high school it didn’t get any better. I was around 80 kgs back then and still on the last of the list of sporty subject. However, on the last years of high school I got on tight diet and did much Dance Dance Revolution at home. I got into university as a freshman 25 kgs less and a year from then, I was officially a geology student. Geo-lo-gy, an ‘adventurous’ major requiring great physical works outdoor. Fortunately, I had grown up by that time. I knew that I couldn’t keep away from physical activities so I decided to beat it. I went running with anger, I exercised to revenge, I did hundreds of push ups and sit ups per day, I thought that the best way to hate something was to be brave and overcome it then be fine about it.
After being fine with geology and becoming an office geologist with slightly overweight BMI, I didn’t feel much anymore about running but deep down I knew that I was still uncomfortable with it. I was still afraid of looking slow or lame or just bad. When my husband (my then-fiance) asked me to do more sport and running, I felt depressed. I was angry. Why? Am I too fat? Can’t you accept me the way I am? When everybody started running as a trend, I secretly said, “Oh, you superficial trendy people.”
I didn’t remember exactly when I realized that I actually need to exercise for my own sake, for my own body. I guess when I started doing Monday yoga one or two years ago. It reminded me of how my body always takes care of me, follows my heart and brain, goes near and far out there. I need to take a good care of it in return.
Then this year I decided to start again, to run in peace, by myself, slowly, pushing aside my fear and anger. I’m still trying to erase those bad memories in the past. I bought new pants and jacket with pockets. I installed ‘Running’ application (and don’t worry, I kept it only for myself). I don’t know if I will ever be able to love running but I guess for the time being, it means accepting my own flaw. It means embracing the pain. It means apologizing and forgiving myself at the same time.
And morning runs mean morning view :)