My mom and dad are my biggest cheerleaders and I don’t just mean during a race. They’ve encouraged me during countless job hunts, and three-and-a-half years of Skype calls to South Korea and they (along with my younger brother) have spent hours meandering around race courses just to give me a wave and a cheer at the halfway mark.
My dad is a runner and that’s probably where I get it from. A few years ago he ran the most beautiful race in the world, the Two Oceans Half Marathon in Cape Town, and one of my earliest memories is my mom presenting him with a pair of running shoes for Christmas.
We chat about running a lot; I think it’s probably a relief that I’m talking about something other than the merits of Ryan Gosling or the plot holes of the Twilight Saga (sample conversation: Him: “What’s an R-Pattz?”)
The best piece of running advice that he’s ever given me is this: “It has to be fun. That’s the most important thing. If you’re not enjoying it, then there’s no point.”
He’s right, too. If I could only choose one reason for the fact that I run, it would be the sheer joy of it: the ridiculous grin that it puts on my face, the sense of relief as I settle into a rhythm, the impossible way that it makes all my problems seem to shrink and fade into the background.
Plus, whenever I call him to whine about the fact that I don’t feel up to running (or anything else, for that matter), he’ll tell me to just lace up my shoes and get out there. “You’ll feel better”, he says, and I always do.