There is nothing better than the wind on my back, the sun on my face and my Running Buddies beside me!!
It is 5 AM and still dark outside. I have a fuzzy head and achy calves – after effects of a drink too many and some crazy dancing the night before. As I lace up my running sneakers, I ask myself, ‘WHY ? In the name of the Lord WHY do I put myself through this every week !’ To cut to the chase – I have been well and truly bitten by the running bug and my running buddies are waiting.
The Running Addiction – means different things to different people. To me….. what started merely as a fitness drive, post relocation to Delhi, has become an inalienable part of my personality….much beyond fitness and health ! Running time is me time. A time to be truly me…truly free. A journey of self discovery. Of finding my limits and pushing the envelope day after day. Of setting goals, making a plan, putting in the sweat and finally achieving it (so much like life). The runner’s high and the kick of doing something meaningful before day-break while the rest of the world still sleeps. Of course new friends, fitness and the compliments are happy by-products… Find your Running Addiction !!!
Before I go further, there is some fine print too….a pseudo Ph D in reading too many articles on running.…and an obsessive compulsion to make you hear about it (insufferable at times).….buying just one more piece of running gear because somehow I need it….training schedules, LSD (yes it is a running drug – the weekly long slow distance run) running apps and timings dominate my thoughts. Running addiction is an OCD.
Most family and friends support this Running Addiction, but can’t really fathom the depth of it. The big race of the season is over and they are saying, ‘Good Job! Well done !’…and secretly thinking, ‘Thank God, this madness is over !’… and the runner in you is thinking, ‘That was fun ! When is the next big race?’ Only another committed runner and your running buddies can understand this !
They say that your greatest bonds and memories are made when you undergo moments of great happiness or pain together ! Hark back on your life and you will realize that I am right….endurance running provides such opportunities week after week, month after month….there is a shared common goal, the pain and sweat of training, mental dilemmas/doubts – can I do it, the anguish of injury, the buildup and finally the happiness of victory or the disappointment of failure…then you start all over again…your running buddies share this journey…
....the Runner’s Bond is unique ! Great pain and over the moon happiness !
Besides the goal, effort, victory….blah, blah….my running buddies see me as I truly am – not a poser or a fake. Nobody is truly ready at 5 AM (and lycra or yoga pants never lie)….nobody is cool at 21.1 km….cheers/expletives come out naturally….they see me truly exposed and genuine (the distance does not permit it any other way)….and my runner friends accept that ! The banter makes the miles fly.…the silences are cherished. They savor and appreciate my running success and support and empathize with my failures. Only my running buddies recognized that my DNF (did not finish) at the Manger Trail was not just a physical failure due to dehydration but a great blow to my self-esteem. Need them - to take it in my stride, learn lessons, reaffirm, re-calibrate, refocus and rise again like a phoenix.
Is my entire running group on my running buddy list? Of course not ! The analogy of the difference between friends and acquaintances applies here too ! My running buddy is my Wingman or Wingwoman (just avoiding feminist comebacks. But, seriously, is there such a term? ). My Wingman is my alarm clock, my pacer, my cheer leader, my Hobbes, makes time fly, and never lets me down….I could go on. But that’s not the point….
Find your Running Buddy….Share and cherish the Runners’ Bond.
By Gee Ess for Wellthy.Fit
About Gee Ess : Always looking for the next big high -physical, social, intellectual or spiritual, Gee Ess got hooked onto endurance running with ADHM 2014. A multitude of full and half marathons since then. Two quotes define him:
Life begins outside your comfort zone
Carpe Diem - Sieze the Day