What motivated me to start? What makes someone grab ahold and say this is it, it’s time for some change! I wish that I could say that I woke up one morning and changed everything.
You hear about people who just one day completely transform and change into a fitter, better person, and yeah, I had tried and failed. I tried some diets, I tried starving but all of that ended up with me “failing” and gaining more weight. By the end I had accepted that I was larger, that being fit was something you were gifted with, something people were born with…
Truth be told I was looking to save some money when I first started walking to work. Don’t think I haven’t been walking to school all my life, because I have been walking, and riding my bike all my life. At the time however, I just wasn’t well informed about nutrition, and most importantly nothing told me how much I had been burning or how far I’d gone.
That one day was where it all started, I just didn’t know it at the time. Having been walking to work for a few days I wanted to know how far I was walking and ended up downloading Runkeeper. And the more I walked back and forth the more my miles racked up, the more calories I burned.
Soon I wanted to go faster, and with the help of a Runkeeper training schedule I started running. Slow and steady. At first I couldn’t run for more than a few minutes without a break. But, something changed within me after every run.
After a while I could run for 20 minutes straight! There it was in black and white. No one could take that away from me. That I, the fat guy, was running.
To be honest, at first I hated it. At the beginning of the run I hated running, asking myself why I was doing this, what would really change? Yet at the end of every run I was ecstatic, pumped, feeling stronger than ever before and telling myself that it’s all worth it.
I pushed myself too hard and ended up with runners knee, but I didn’t give up—I did exercises and soon I could run again.
Running allowed me to gain confidence and it made me stronger both in mind and body. Starting the day with a run would prepare me for the day, and if I had a bad day, running would allow me to sort through my thoughts. I still have some days where I would love to lay in bed, but as soon as I’m done training I’m thrilled, and glad I pushed myself.
Soon I was running 5km, 10km, 15km and 20km. I was invincible, and decided that I would sign up for a race. My first race was a 10km midnight race, which was crazy. It felt more like a carnival with all the people and lights, and when I stood there, waiting in the starting line for the gun to go off, I felt more alive than ever. Everyone there shared this moment, this feeling.
And as I was running towards the finish line I was pushing, I was running the fastest I had ever run. High on adrenaline and happiness.
It struck me; if running did this to me what more had I been missing? So I started testing all these things that I had been telling myself that I was too fat for or not god enough to do. Climbing, trail running, football, swimming, lifting weights and everything rewarded me with a sense of joy. Now if I see something interesting I do it, I don’t doubt myself.
Now I have been to the highest mountain in Sweden and my next challenge is joining the military.
However I always run—it’s always there for me. To push me, to comfort me.