There is no finish line

Once upon a long ago a friend and I started with some weekly jogs, subsequently ending with a bottle of beer waiting for us in the trunk of our car. No heavy endeavor, no long time running. Just keep calm and don’t run your ass off. Only when I reached midlife I began to run seriously, more or less encouraged by a hectic life and some physical worries.

Since then I have run 10000 kilometers, 50 contests – with recently a great half marathon (HM) with the Océ team at the Venloop, March 2017.

My first HM took place in 2011, unplanned and accidently. My colleagues and I had registered for the 10k. Unfortunately I had forgotten about the daylight saving time. So when I arrived too late at our meeting point and wondered about my absent colleagues, I realized my mistake. I could just die.

Desperately to run whatever the distance, whatever the price, I decided to run the HM instead, unprepared but highly motivated –and with success. So in the end you could say: every cloud has a silver lining.

But was it always successful? Hell no. There were ups and downs like real life. Like many of you I suffered from injuries every now and then: in the knee, the heel and even the butt. Sometimes it took months to recover, but despite the denial and despair I survived.

All these exhausting, non-productive and time consuming running efforts; they seem a road to nowhere.

The latter is true. There is no finish line. The main reward is in the cracking and crawling on the way. Race or no race, to be able to free the mind and to be on your own, enjoying the runner’s high. For me these spare moments are precious. No questions need to be answered, no problems to be solved. It’s just me, myself and I.

The race is like a dessert (or a desert sometimes), a joyful and social experience. Besides the support of friends and family there is the getting together with the running Océ colleagues, wearing our shirts with pride, motivating each other upfront the ‘battle’ and sharing the success and struggling afterwards. So running is not about moving from A to B. It impacts many layers: the mind, the body, the challenging, sharing with others, but most of all: big fun. In fact running has improved the quality of (at least my) life.

And yes, I still enjoy that beer afterwards.

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