I’ve been a runner my whole life – I just didn’t realize it until recently.
My desire to move stemmed from a young age. I’m not sure if it was because I was born in South Africa, where the sporting culture is huge, or if it was my incredibly active parents who influenced me, or maybe it was just inherently in me.
Whatever it was, all I know is that I wanted to go – go fast and go far. I loved the adrenaline rush, the intensity, the racing of my heartbeat, the sweat, the challenge – I loved every feeling that came from movement. Nothing made me feel more powerful, liberated or in control than when I was in my zone, running.
I was involved in many sports growing up, but I was not very skilled at any of them. My only advantage was that I could run. It took me much longer than my teammates to tire out on the field. My endurance kept me running in circles around everyone, without burning out. I couldn’t pull any fancy tricks or hit the ball with much power or force at all, all I could do was run and make sure that no one could catch me, or out run me.
The funny thing is, I never took running seriously when I was younger, nor did I recognize that I had some sort of natural ability. It was only recently – in the last six months or so that running has become quite literally, my life after connecting with a coach, who also happens to be a former Olympian long-distance runner. He’s made me tap into my potential, and shown me that with discipline and training, anything is possible.
Now, I run almost every day, six days a week. It has gotten to the point where a day without a run doesn’t feel right. My body has become so driven by running that I can’t cope without it…I guess you could say I’m borderline obsessed with the sport – in a good way of course!
It took a little while for me to get used to running almost every day with injuries popping up all over the place (hamstring, achilles, lower calf…the list goes on!) but I’ve finally reached a good place with training and I’m currently injury-free.
I’m not exactly sure where running will lead me, but I’m enjoying the journey so far. I know my training is making me a more capable runner, and that each race that I bravely put myself through teaches me more about my strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately, I am constantly pushing myself to run harder, run better, run faster and run further. It’s a never-ending battle that’s both terrifying and exciting.