Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Running's next act

Like life itself, running goes through similar stages from birth through maturity to eventual decline. I've learned that the secret to both running and life is to focus on the present:  enjoy the moment, don't worry about the past or stress about the future.  It's been a hard won lesson.

I started running to lose weight and manage my blood pressure.  Over 30 years of running I've been pretty successful at both:  No prescription medication, no hospital visits other than the self inflicted visits to Emergency.  Running in my early days was slow and ponderous.  Dressed in heavy sweats I was super conscious of my size and weight and ran in the dark so no one would see me lumbering along.  Babies learning to walk were more graceful.  Like an infant, I kept at it though.

I graduated to racing 10K's at the height of the 10K running craze.  At a great weight and with a waist size I liked, I did my best running and achieved my personal best.  It felt like the best teenage years: Lots of personal growth yet still within a protected and safe environment.

Then I got serious.  After a stumble...litterally I fell off my bicycle in my first Triahalon...I got the bug for Sprint Triathalons.  This was my sweet spot.  I bought a Tri bike that was uncomfortable to ride but delivered performance in a race.  Sally got me a skin tight one piece Tri Suit that I could wear through the Swim, Bike and Run.  I was at my optimum weight and fitness.  Like a young adult I felt comfortable in being at the peak of my game drawing on my experience while building a family.

Then the crash.  Literally.  I got disillusioned with running after I hung up my triatholon gear.  How could I follow the excitement and success of two years of successful triathalons?  It took some time and there were a number of false starts, tangents and setbacks but recently I've come full circle and come back to 10K running.  Although I missed both of the spring 10K's in Toronto, I've ended the past few years at the Reggae Marathon 10K in Negril, Jamaica.  I now get a ton of enjoyment watching the next generation enjoy their personal success in running.  Courtney and Andrew are excellent runners and can tear it up at 10K and Half Marathon distances.  Holden can't be beat over 40 Metres...he's the powerful sprinter and exploded on the football field at Acadia.

Last week I overheard Andrew talking to some friends about his running goal in a 10K.  Both he and his twin brother Courtney have been running half marathons and 10K's over the past few years. The three of us have run in Reggae Marathon a number of times, as well as a Half Marathons in Toronto. Although he didn't achieve the result he wanted, he bested over 25,000 runners on a hot and humid morning in Toronto.  I was proud of him.  It's been nice to see the next generation following in my footsteps...literally!

For my next act?  I have no idea really other than the desire to keep running.

Until next time...

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