Lim: Accidental Runner – SUNSTAR
I had no intention of being a runner. I became one by chance.
I am not a competitive runner. I only run for fitness and fun. I was not good at any sport when I was young. So when running was all the rage, I had no interest in it. But life is full of surprises.
Although I loved going to the gym, after a sabbatical of more than a decade, I felt it was too late to return. But some things are written in the stars, like cancer and surgery. The gym beckoned me. From there, I thought, why stop now?
But then came the pandemic. And soon after, I found myself falling off the wagon. The misery of 2020, however, pushed me to take a leap of faith. In December of that year, I joined my first virtual race. Since then, I have never stopped running.
Today, I run for several reasons. I run to burn calories, strengthen my trunk, strengthen my legs but also my lungs. I run to help my heart pump more efficiently. Five years ago my resting heart rate was 65. Today it is 53.
I run to clear my mind, listen to dance music and escape into a time and space for 90 minutes without a break. I run to stay in shape but also to stay sane and yet I get dizzy. There’s no substitute for the happy hormones released after 90 minutes of cardio. After a run, I could dance the night away.
Running lifts my spirits, makes me smile, makes my heart race. I know what you’re thinking. But it’s much less complicated.
But running also taught me patience, discipline and determination.
You have to listen to your body. You can’t force him to do what he’s not ready to do. You have to learn to wait, rest and recover. You will find that when you return, you will do even better.
It’s easy to be lazy. So you have to set goals for yourself to choose to spend 90 minutes running on the treadmill rather than sitting on the couch glued to Netflix.
Start with small, achievable goals. Because when you achieve a goal, you’ll be motivated to do more. That’s how I started. And that’s what I continue to do today.
Every time I get on the treadmill, I start with small goals. I tell myself to just go for 5K but in my heart I want to run at least 10K. When I get to 5K, I go for 8K, then 10K. After crossing 10K, I know I can go even further.
Every race is different. Some days I feel like Superwoman. Some days I feel like an old woman. Sometimes I can’t beat my personal best but I’ll try again next time. In fact, I try, every time.
Don’t kill yourself. Know when to stop. But don’t give up. Live as you run. Your rhythm. But know that you are never too old and it is never too late to start something good in your life.
I had no intention of being a runner. I became one by chance. I’m actually quite a planner. But I never saw that coming. Life is truly full of surprises.