A runner’s life

I’ll admit, I talk about running a lot. Too much maybe. I try to limit it to a minimum, but then again, over the past few years (and actually pretty much since the age of 9) it’s become such a big part of my life that there’s little else to talk about. A runner’s life.

Reactions to these tales are rather mixed. Sometimes, of course, a total disinterest in what I’m telling because, after all, running is pretty boring. Sometimes I get admiration, even though there’s plenty of people running faster, longer and in more extreme conditions than I am. Most of the time, however, I get puzzled expressions or, even better, a hesitant nod, hiding a total lack of understanding.

And then come the questions. Mainly the one big question: Why? Why would you go running for 2 hours in a row for no apparent reason. And when they ask me if I’m, by any chance, training to win some race or beat my personal best and the answer to both of these questions is negative, it doesn’t get any better.

So here I am again, stranded on a beach filled with thousands of runners have stranded before me. All have attempted to put into words what’s so amazing about waking up early and going for a run. About tying your shoelaces when everybody stays inside next to the fireplace. About feeling the rain running down your skin underneath your clothes. Who am I to think I’d succeed where many before me have failed so miserably?

The truth is, I don’t think I’ll succeed. I’ve faced the fact that the only ones who understand what I’m going on and on about, are fellow runners (which means I’m barely preaching to the converted here). The ones that are on that beach with me. We stand up and wipe the sand of our arms. We exchange a look. We smile. We start running.

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