I remember my first race. I was 8 and I ran my first 5km community race and then I won a prize for being the youngest finisher! Wow! What a memory! But I digress – that is NOT why I love running!
I was introduced to running by my father. He was the first marathoner I ever trained with. I started training with him when I was about 6 or 7. Him pounding the pavement and me riding alongside him on my BMX bike! I will never forget his first 42km race – because I was not allowed to bike alongside him – the exhilaration, the excitement and the sheer nerves before hearing the Start Gun firing off!
As a family we always supported him at the races – even if they started at the most ridiculous times and inconvenient venues – I remember we even slept in the car overnight! My Dad’s training was inclusive, he made us ride, walk, crawl or run with him. His diet changed and so did ours. We were a really active family!
I only really started running with him when I was about 12 and I didn’t like it one bit… I used to think it was absolute torture and could not understand why you would want to do this to your body… At 16 I finally understood the benefits of running and was really grateful for the positive body image my Dad created by instilling such a healthy active lifestyle.
Running at least twice a week was our bonding time. Our alone time. Our meditative time. We were able to keep track of each other’s lives with long conversations and many debates which was absolutely crucial during my most rebellious years. In hindsight my Dad was really clever, because he instilled in me a love for something that we shared and gifted me with the ability of running that would positively influence my entire life!
I am eternally grateful for this and I hope to do the same for my girls!
In Shaa Allah!