Running from, running to

4:17:00 AM

For a year in college, I was actually part of the varsity swimming team. I never got to compete because of a death in the family around the same time as the games, but I did train quite hard. Training included land activities (running and weight training) on top of water drills. However, I was dealt with more crap than my maturity at that age can handle, and I decided to stop swimming once and for all. To make matters worse, I started smoking – making me unfit for swimming, or any sport, for that matter. I stepped away from being an athlete.

I have been smoking for years now, and I haven’t stopped for more than a day. Until February 2 this year, that is – when I decided to temporarily stop smoking until I recover from the flu. “Temporarily” is the operative word; I wasn’t going to kick the habit for good. Rather, I was shelving it until I was in better shape to indulge again.

On the morning of February 12, I dusted off my trusty Nike cross-trainers to join the Condura Skyway Marathon 2012 with some of my officemates. Although we all initially wanted to sign up for the three-kilometer category, we were automatically upgraded to the five-kilometer class because there weren’t any slots left in the former. To be honest, I didn’t really want to participate, but I somewhat felt pressured by the fact that our company is sponsoring the marathon, so at the last minute, I signed up.

I went to the marathon with zero expectations. I thought I was going to finish last, if I would finish at all. I thought I was just going to walk most of the time. I thought I was going to faint halfway if I forced myself to run. I thought I was going to be wheeled away by the medics on standby. Bottom line is, I didn’t think I could do it.

Gun start
(photo from the internet)
The results surprised me. Not only did I finish the race, I actually did so in a respectable amount of time – 42 minutes. It’s not much, but considering (1) I’ve had no major physical activity in almost seven years and (2) I’ve been smoking like a chimney for almost a decade, 42 minutes is not bad at all. And surprisingly, at the end of five kilometers, I wanted to keep running.

That same day I made two decisions. First, I will quit smoking. I’m proud to say I’ve been smoke-free for over a week now, and I hope I won’t fall back into the habit. I’m going cold turkey, but if I ever feel an overpowering, debilitating urge, then I’m allowed a maximum of two (2) puffs a day, but only until the end of February. After that, there won’t be any more excuses.

To sustain that, I made the second decision to run. I’m going to run away from smoking, and I’m going to run to my health. I’ll start twice a week, five kilometers at a time, and gradually increase frequency, distance, as well as intensity. Although I wish I had done this sooner, I’m actually quite happy that I finally found something that’s helping me quit smoking.

Segue: I’m going to run away from heartache, too, but only until I am strong enough to face it again. Proverbial running is often frowned upon by people as the way of the weak. But we don’t always have to be strong, and we don’t always have to fight, for not all battles are meant to be fought. Sometimes, the wiser thing to do is to turn around and walk, or run, away. So for now I’m running from pain, running back to myself, running to find my happiness again. It might take a little longer than 42 minutes, but I know I’ll get there soon enough.


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Hello, reader! Thank you for wasting your time reading my blog. I do hope you enjoyed whatever you stumbled upon. :)