I was rummaging through my old files when I stumbled upon the notebook that contains my random notes and reviews of books I’ve read in 2011. Some of the authors included Paolo Coelho, David Levithan, and Haruki Murakami. Most of my notes, though, were from one of my most influential running books – Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.
The book introduced me to the greatest ultra-runners and super athletes in the world, the Tarahumarans (raramuri) Arnulfo Quimare, Silvino, and Manuel Luna, the Caballo Blanco (White Horse) known as Micah True, El Venado (the Deer) Scott Jurek (I got lucky to meet him in person in Cebu), El Coyote Luis Escobar (we’re friends on Facebook and I always look forward to seeing his beautiful photos), El Mono Barefoot Ted (who eventually made Luna sandals, which I am using since 2015) and the rest of the Mas Locos (crazy people) – Philip the Bear, Billy the Young Wolf, Eric the Hawk, and Jenn the La Bruhita Bonita (Pretty Little Witch).
The book has awakened the sleeping, wild, and passionate lone wolf inside of me, and has also reinforced my personal belief that everyone is built for running. The book has changed my life…for the best!
Just move your legs, because if you are denying you are born to run, you’re not only denying history, you are denying who you are. – Born to Run, McDougall C.
Eight Years and Beyond
This year marks my eight years of running. I owe this undying passion to many generous and supportive raramuri souls, who never fail to amaze me, to my Daddy God and loved ones, and to the Tarahumarans whose virtues I have learned to live by heart through the years – “strength, patience, cooperation, dedication, persistence, and most of all, the love to run.”
I started running in 2010 and had it only been for fitness, I would have given up a long time ago. Running has always meant more to me. I kept a blog of my running diaries, where I talked about why and how I managed to finish half-marathons, marathons, and ultramarathons, and even random runs in between official races. Reading the entries now, I can’t believe my younger self. She was also a La Bruhita Bonita, and a crazy little one at that (and I am always proud of her).
“Why are you running when you don’t even have fats to burn?”
“You’re already sexy, why do you still bother to run?”
“If I have a metabolism like yours, I’ll just stay in bed.”
I get these kinds of remarks often, especially from people who never look at running as sports, but as a regimen to lose weight. Many people are now into running to achieve their fitness goals, which is good, but running will always be more than that.
Many runners whom I’ve known for a long time on the road are into running for a lot of other reasons, and some are even far beyond our understanding. In my case, here are some of the countless reasons why I keep running.
1. It makes me feel alive.
When I’m out there running, I am reminded that despite all the struggles of the mundane life, I can still hear the sound of my breathing and my heartbeat. When I’m running, I simply live.
2. It makes me a better person.
Every time I finish a run or a race, I know I am no longer the same person who struggled at the start. When I’m running, I become the person that I really am – relentless, passionate, crazy – someone who’s always better than who I was before I put on my sandals or shoes and hit the road.
3. It keeps me fit and youthful.
Enough said. 🙂
4. It takes me to places.
Running doesn’t only lead me to roads less ran and traveled, it also takes me to challenging trails, and other scenic local and international destinations. Exploring cities and learning new culture and traditions are more fun when on foot.
5. It inspires my friends and loved ones to conquer, too.
One of the great joys of every runner is inspiring friends and loved ones to run, simply because they can. Nowadays, I occasionally run with my friends who have grown the same love for the sports after they experienced running short distances themselves. Seeing and knowing what running is doing for them make my heart sing.
6. It introduces me to the best people on Earth.
Many inspiring, influential, and down-to-earth people I’m blessed to meet and know are runners who are also successful in different major industries and fields of specialization. Like many of us, they are ordinary people doing extraordinary feats.
7. It keeps me grounded.
The symbolic landing of the feet on the ground as I run is akin to fostering humility no matter how far I go in every step and move forward. When I’m running, no matter the distance, I’m always humbled.
My list can go on and on because I will never run out of reasons to run for my mom, my dad, my siblings, my beloved, my prayers, my self, and my advocacy, among other causes.
I will keep running as long as I can because one thing is certain – running is life.