Why do you run?

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At the finish of my second Half Marathon – Oct 1, 2017…fundraising for NAFISIKA – an organisation in Kenya that trains and empowers prison inmates to reintegrate back into society and secure employment

A lot of my friends ask me why I run and I  honestly ask myself that question sometimes, especially on the first 2km into the race.

I’ve been running for as long as I could remember….I was a very good athlete from primary school through secondary school and I always dreamt of running at the Olympics. I sometimes imagined myself receiving a medal whenever I watched Samuel Matete, a former Zambian athlete.

 

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At the finish of a 5km run for Open Doors

The closest I got to receiving a medal was taking a trophy home when I received the  Sports Girl of The Year Award twice of the year in secondary school(High School). What a proud moment that was for me when the whole school applauded me as I walked up to the front of the school hall to receive my Award and the trophy. I could carry the trophy home! Oh boy! I couldn’t stop smiling on my way home and everyone was asking me what I did to get a trophy. I will never forget the feeling I got that day and the pride on my parents faces when they saw the trophy.

Unfortunately, my dream of running at the Olympics died with me when I completed secondary school as I didn’t get any sponsorship to continue my dream.

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At the start of my first 10 mile run – 2015

When I moved to Belgium in 1998, I found out that there were clubs in every commune that one could to join for different sport activities and I was supper excited. I saw that running was one of the activities but I hesitated to do it.

Years past, I still didn’t do anything about it but the yearning inside me was growing stronger and stronger but still something was telling me ‘you aren’t the same age you were in secondary school, stop fooling yourself’. It wasn’t until a colleague signed me up for a 5km Brussels Belfius Run. He actually tricked me into thinking that other colleagues would run too but I later found out I was the only one running. I had no time to train as I was signed up late.

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At the start of my first 5km run

The day of the race came and I was dead nervous and 100m into the race I started panicking and asking myself what I was thinking and at some point I thought of just quitting the race altogether then suddenly I saw kids running past me and I was like there’s no way those kids would finish the race before me, so I gathered courage and I kept running and I finished the 5km in 28 minutes! I was so proud of myself.  I did it! That was all the motivation I needed to continue running and that’s how it all began.

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At the finish of my first 5km Oct 4, 2015

After the 5km, I was motivated to sign up for more races. I ran my first half marathon on May 29, 2016….I couldn’t believe I could do it at first but I just went for it and I finished it in 2:25 minutes. I have never been so proud of myself! I ran my second half marathon this year and I completed in 2:43 minutes….slower than the year before because I wasn’t as fit as the year before but I completed it anyway, which is the most important thing for me.

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At finish of my first Half Marathon – May 29, 2016

I never made it to the Olympics but I am a proud owner of 11 medals and I am very proud of myself because I didn’t know or even believe I could run at my age. I have my colleague to thank who signed me up for the first 5km race.

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So why do I run?

  •  For weight loss
  •  To relieve stress
  •  To stay sane
  •  I feel rejuvenated after a run
  •  I reflect and pray as I run
  •  I run when I want to vent but no one is available to lend an ear
  •  I also run to raise money for two charitable organisations, NAFISIKA TRUST and OPEN DOORS
  •  I run simply because I can.
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At the finish of a 6km race for Open Doors – A Christian organisation that help raise funds for persecuted Christians

So, I would encourage you to pursue your dreams no matter how old you are or how ridiculous your dream may sound. If you want something bad, go for it! Don’t wish for it, just do it, you won’t lose anything by trying. Even if you fail at least you tried, you won’t be wondering what would have happened if you didn’t.

Go after your dreams!

 

 

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21 comments

  1. This is lovely Doreen. I remember you being a good, fastest and recognised runner at Dominican Convent Secondary School. The first time i saw you in Belgium, you know what immediately ran through my mind? I said to myself, isn’t this the Doreen that used to run well and win trophies 🏆 at school?
    So, even if you didn’t get a scholarship nor go to the Olympics, all these marathons/runs adds up to the Olympics just because you are still able to. We thank God for your good health because that’s all you need for motivation and in the long run, motivate others.
    I’m glad you have your own blog now. Looking forward read more of these;-)👊🏿💪🏾✨

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You are welcome my dear. We have come from far. You are my sister in disguise. I appreciate our friendship too. Happy to hear am your #1 fun. Yay! Happy dance 💃🏽 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done you. I used to run but stopped due to other commitments. Strangely I often feel the need to just run. I probably wouldn’t get far but the urge, never goes away. My brother and my cousin both run marathons regularly.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I run to relive stress, maintain weight, enjoyment and overall health. I also race for charity and I always have fun! Congratulations on all of you accomplishment in the running world!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kudos to you. The only thing I am successful at running is my mouth lol . I admire your dedication and commitment . I agree with you the only failure is in not trying . I plan to pursue all the things ! this year 🙂 Wonderful and inspirational article .

    Liked by 1 person

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