Just because you can run doesn’t mean you are a runner. And just because you can’t run doesn’t mean you’re not a runner. As what I’ve read somewhere, “When your legs can’t run anymore run with your heart…”
Running is just a word… a mere movement. The only moment a word can convey a thousand meaning is when we give depth to it. It is when we acknowledge it beyond its denotation. It is when we give our personal touch to a certain word as if it describes a part of us. Speaking of which, I have a friend who is fond of joining marathons, it’s his way of enjoying his free time and challenging himself. In fact, I’m thinking of putting an imaginary tagline between his first and last name that goes something like: “Edison the-epitome-of-a-true-runner Cruz”
Recently, Edison joined two fun runs namely Men’s Health Urbanathlon 2013 and Run United 3. And I tell you, he ran 42 kilometers a week after he ran 21 kilometers… Oh, well, I’m kidding not! He really did that. Anyway, this time, not only will I give you the glimpse of what had happened but I will also try to once again relate running to life as its metaphor.
MEN’S HEALTH URBANATHLON & FESTIVAL 2013
Mr. Epitome-of-a-true-runner joined 21k for this event. It wasn’t a regular kind of run since there were obstacles along the path making it more exciting and far way challenging. Among the obstacle courses were composed of bars, walls, scaffoldings, etc.
A month before his run he told me he’s looking forward to what the event organizers prepared for runners since there would be some additional obstacles for 2013. I then asked him if it’s possible to just run and by pass those hurdles since I’m assuming not everyone would actually go through those barriers. I was in awe when he told me that you have to go through all of those challenges otherwise you won’t experience the underlying principle of what urbanathlon is all about. I guess the boy made a fair point statement there.
Sadly, I wasn’t there to see things right before my eyes. I failed to witness every runner as they moved and overcome each obstacle. But my friend Google helped me with some information and Edison fueled me with stories allowing me to come up with my own train of thoughts.
In fact, after processing what I’ve read and what I’ve heard I take hold of the idea that running is actually a metaphor of life. Men’s Health is actually closer to it. Why? Well, because of its obstacle courses. It is my desire that those runners who’ve joined the said marathon were able to see the underneath lessons that the event was trying to impart to of each of you… to each of us. I’m nobody – not even a part of Men’s Health Urbanathlon 2013 in any form. Perhaps I’m not in the position to speak for them nor do I know if their real objective is the same as mine yet I still dare to say that there’s more than just running, beating the obstacles and getting your finisher’s shirt – and for me it’s called Life Lessons.
What about that?
Life is full of challenges and we get to experience one of its kinds day by day. Let’s view things this way; the event itself is what we called life and the obstacles within the course of running connote life challenges and difficulties. The moment you signed up for Men’s Health Urbanathlon, you also acknowledged the truth that there would be obstacles to face and that you’re up to face them. At first it was easy but as you get by, the obstacles seem to be tougher and tougher and you just wanted to skip every barrier but then you maintained your focus and realized you’re not just the one struggling. And if they can do it, then you certainly can survive it.
And here’s the good thing, no matter how difficult things may look like from a distance, as you get closer to it, you’ll find out that there are people who are willing to help you get through it. Often times, they are just around the corner waiting for you to come near them. It’s taking risk but it’s always worth the risk. That’s exactly what made Men’s Health Urbanathlon closer to running as a metaphor of life.
RUN UNITED 3
No way will I ever get myself involved in any 42k runs. The idea itself is killing me, let alone doing it. But that’s not the case with my favorite guy; imagine he joined the RunRio with three different kilometers such as 21k (Run United 1), 32k (Run United 2) and 42k (Run United 3). The events were held in three different dates to give each runner enough amount of time to prepare for each run. Well, Mr. Epitome-of-a-true-runner called it a challenge… I called it death run!
Looking from a different perspective, it may seem easier since there were no obstacles involved. But let me tell you this, it wasn’t easy. Yes, obstacles were not presented the same way as what Men’s Health did but the distance alone had given me pain in the head… it scared the crap out of me! My brain couldn’t process how on earth I will ever get through it without me fainting or passing out! (Okay… okay… I didn’t join but the mere idea makes me feel like I’m going to throw up!)
Going back, just because there were no obstacles along the way didn’t mean it’s a struggle-free-zone. As what I saw from Edison’s facebook wall, he was cursing out when he saw the finish line. Again, running 42k was no joke! He didn’t run just for the sake of running or boasting that “Hey man, I’m good… I’m a 42k finisher” I believe that he did what he did because he wanted to complete the three medals. Those three medals can be formed into one big medal once you have the three pieces. And you can only attain your objective if you’re able to finish the RunRio. It’s called Goal – he has his goal and he was able to achieve it.
Here’s the thing, probably you’re running because you want to get the perfect body, to release some stress or maybe to think things over. And you’re throwing yourself into the field not because you’re nowhere to go but because you have goals to achieve. And you’re pretty aware that the only way to accomplish it is when you do something about it.
Seriously, I had no idea on what he was thinking when he was struggling to finish the Run United 3 marathon. All I know is that running is about taking risk and Edison took the risk. He knew right in his inner core that he’d survive, he just needed his body to bear with him. I’m sure that he was so stressed and too tired while doing the challenge. I’m also certain that his legs… his feet were excessively sore but his brain was shouting, “You can do it…” and his heart was telling him, “Go on… we’ll get by…” And a voice from within was reminding him, “Man we set our goals, we’ll get through this…” And he was able to push through because he was running with his heart.
I’m not a runner physically, my feet have no ability to run as far as 10k or worst even 5k. It’s Edison’s thing. He’s expressing his life through running and he makes the best things out of it. Me? I run using my heart and my brain. I get to run with runners because I can put things into words.
What I am trying to say? I’m trying to give justice on my opening statement that you don’t have to run to be a runner and that you have the ability to give your own connotation to whatever words available in the dictionary as long as you can give justice to it otherwise the word will remain as it is. And for my part, running is when you allow your brain to function so at the end of the day you can be able to share some words of wisdom to those people around you. It’s not my body doing the task, it’s my heart and my brain and normally they do have marathon inside me; it’s like, should I follow my head or should go along with my heart? They are running even if I stand still. And yes, that’s how running goes when I don’t do it on track. How do you do yours?
Lastly, as we grow old we tend to lose our strength. Time will come that despite our desire to run, we can’t help but to shake off the idea. It will be painful yes, but take heart… you can always use your heart to run. You can always tell your stories and go back to the time when running was as easy as saying ABC– we are a natural story teller and I tell you, life is fair! And because running is a metaphor of life, you can count on that aging will not steal your experiences. You may forget it but it will remain somewhere inside your heart. So as early as today, allow me to remind you to always run with your heart.