A teenager who was born in the wrong era
Running. What is running? Running for president? Running late for class? Running a business? What is the meaning of the word running?
Well, my definition of running is exactly the same as it is in the dictionary: the action or movement of a runner.
Running is an art. It may be a sport by definition, but to me, the idea of laying down all your built-up emotions on the road after a long day of work, painting a reflection of your mind through your legs and your heart sounds like a piece of art. This masterpiece created everyday by millions of runners around the globe is ironically introduced as a form of punishment, a way of torture for children who do not obey. When I first discovered running through the mile in gym class, I hated it. I hated being made fun of and being shouted at by my irresponsible PE teacher. It was that fire that triggered me into pursuing a sport I’ve been expected to hate.
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My first run was a 5-mile catastrophe. It was one that could make a hero to a zero instantly. Well, maybe I’m exaggerating, but you get the idea. The run burned my lungs and shredded my legs, but at the end of it, I wanted more. It’s as if I suddenly was addicted. I have suddenly gained a compulsion to continue pushing myself to achieve the somewhat impossible. This self-discovered philosophy of running has marked its place in my heart and mind and has continued to motivate me throughout hard workouts and adversity.
Running is my therapy. It is my grind. It’s why I wake up at 6 a.m. when a legion of voices in my head are shouting their anonymous permission to go hit that snooze button. It’s a way for me to explore the threshold of my spirit and endurance. It is about pushing through the wall and finishing what you started. I run to connect with something in myself, something buried deep down beneath all the worldly layers of responsibility.
Running, in its simplicity, its pure brutality, peels away these layers, revealing the raw human underneath. It’s a rare thing to experience; everything stripped bare, and it can be confronting. But as I push on, running harder, faster and deeper into the wilderness of it all, the tiredness seems to lift as I begin to float, even as the pain still aches in my muscles. My mind begins to clear and I begin to feel strangely detached yet connected to myself. I begin to experience some form of self-realization.
It’s strikingly astonishing how the simple act of putting one leg in front of the other could truly alter a man’s life. Running was never meant to be an individual sport - at least not for me. I would have never met fellow runners who share the same level of passion for the sport. Together we have ploughed through various physiological and psychological barriers. Together we have helped each other do what is necessary to achieve excellence.
That is what my sport, my work of art, the art of running, is all about.
As a 16 year old kid from Jakarta, Timothy is more of a 90s kid than a millennial. He runs and writes short stories whenever he's not rocking to Pink Floyd or Guns n' Roses. His hobbies include running, not failing Chemistry and watching films. Reach Timothy through Instagram account: @timothysamwijaya.
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