WHO DO YOU RUN FOR?
The quick and easy answer my 20-year-old self would have given was …. “myself.” There was a time in my 20s when I used to run a lot for the mental and emotional benefits I derive from it. Running has always been cathartic to me. Aside from it being cheap therapy (you only need a trusty pair of running shoes, no equipment needed), to me, it became more of a mental and emotional exercise than a physical one. Unapologetically, I used to run for personal gains and nothing more.
During that period, whenever I would feel like I’m on the edge of being burnt out or when I would feel like there’s a situation I am losing control of, I would take my running shoes out and do a lap or two until I feel myself slowly calming down. Running alone gives me time to think, internalize and put things into perspective.
Aside from my therapeutic solo runs (that I deeply miss these days), I would also join fun runs with my then-boyfriend (now husband) and we mostly did it for, well, for fun. The cause/ benefit is a huge added bonus but we never really got around to doing it competitively. Come to think of it, we didn’t even track our personal records. We were pretty much satisfied at having the drive, discipline, and energy to join, let alone, finish one. We would do it as a couple and sometimes with friends too. Regardless of how we do it, joining runs has always been satisfying and ironically, calming.
However, it has been years since our last run and we have now been reduced to walking and jogging, mostly at home, within the subdivision, or in secluded areas, because the pandemic is still a very real thing.
Recently, I happened to be scrolling aimlessly through social media when I saw a call for joiners for a virtual run. A VIRTUAL RUN! I was mildly intrigued and curious at the concept. So I looked it up, found the details and immediately registered.
The one I just joined is called RUN FOR WISHES which is a joint effort of Make-A-Wish Philippines and Takbo.Ph. This partnership is a fundraising virtual run to make wishes come true for children with critical illnesses.
The idea is to complete the registered distance for the whole month of April! Now, who would not be encouraged to join with that kind of “installment” offer?
Because I don’t want to be too cocky or confident with my goals, I just put in a realistic 21-kilometer goal. I registered last April 7 and have until the end of the month to complete my needed distance. I don’t have a treadmill so if I’m indoors, I would usually be running in place or within the space available to me. Otherwise, my husband, daughter and I would look for an isolated road so I can run more freely.
Looking back, it used to be just me. Then my husband came along and it became the two of us. Now, our daughter has joined our little tribe and seems to find great fulfillment in running too. We keep on telling her to take it slow and maintain her pace but I guess the newness of being allowed to run as much as she wants to has taken a huge appeal to her hyperactive toddler self. That and the fact that she is mostly indoors due to the pandemic, running has also become a fun activity for her.
Now, as I circle back, I realize that people run for different reasons. Be it for yourself, for a cause, to feel good, to beat a personal record – everyone has their own reasons.
(P.S. Masks are still on because there were bikers, joggers, workers and other people randomly passing by – some with masks on, some without. We just didn’t want to take chances. My husband was just super patient in waiting for the road to clear to take random photos.)
But today, I choose to run neither for myself nor for the fun I get from it.
Today, I choose to run for another child.
I run for the little ray of hope and happiness I can help bring one little soul.
It’s time to bring out those dusty running shoes.
For more information on Run For Wishes, how to join and what you need to do, check out their website and let’s start clocking in those kilometers.
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