I just celebrated my one year anniversary as a runner. Yup, you got that right. Natalie is now a runner. Other people spend a lot of time trying to find the right boyfriend/husband; me, I have been searching for that form of exercise to which I could get hooked. Pilates, yoga, zumba: have tried them all but nothing stuck.
It was a normal day in Jakarta and a friend made a post on Facebook saying she planned to run a series of three 5-km races over a period of a few weeks. I liked her post and the next thing I knew I was also looking to do the race series. What was I thinking? I had not run since my lower sixth form sports day where I was the only person in the Class One 800m race. NO, I am lying. I also ran the 50 m parent race at my kids’ school 4 years ago. But I digress.
Fast forward a few weeks after the noted Facebook post and the most awesome running buddies were found. We call ourselves The Zoo Runners. Up until the time I left Jakarta last summer, we would rise and shine in the wee hours of the morning and drive 20 mins (or more) to the Ragunan Zoo to run. We started slowly and panted quite a bit in the early days but weeks into our new routine we fell in love with the newly toned legs and the awesome feeling one gets when they run. The Zoo is hot and muggy and sometimes smelly but we loved it. AH! There were days when we questioned our sanity and moments when we individually felt like quitting but we have all kept running.
While we are no longer all in living in Jakarta we still keep in touch through our Zoo Runners WhatsApp chats and motivate each other to keep on going. Am currently training for my first 10km race and while I am a bit scared I know I will get across that finish line because that is what us Zoo Runners do.
I’m not running for glory.
I’m not running to prove anything.
I’m not running to make a particular time.
I’m running to keep my sanity.
I’m running because there is no feeling like that of running with the mind in the wind.
I’m running for the legs and heart health.
Thanks Lucy, Georgie, Kate and Shaula. Happy Anniversary to our year as Zoo Runners.