It all began when my 11-year-old son came home from school one day. “We are having a FunRun at school and parents can join in!” Looking very excited, he asked, “Mum, will you run with me?”
My hesitation to comply was overrun by my determination to keep that smile on my son’s face.
“OK, I’ll do it.” I replied cheerfully.
I had never been considered the sporty type. Those who know me will testify that! During my secondary school years, I would often play a game of rounders with friends- always missing the ball! Although it was always good fun, I would be put off by my own incompetence. Therefore, playing any sports remained a distant memory of my teen years.
The day of the FunRun eventually arrived. Nervous, I went to school to watch as each year did their laps around the muddy school field. I was not feeling very enthusiastic and I didn’t bother to wear my trainers. Reception, Year One, Year Two and so forth.
All of a sudden, I felt a fire light up inside me. “I am going to do this,” I thought.
It was Year 4’s turn. I hurried back home and put on some trainers and rushed back (our house was next to the school). Year 5 was doing the run now, then it was my son’s class’ turn. I could feel the adrenalin.
Off I went, as fast as a spring with my son beside me. His happy laughter gave me the energy to go further. But here is the part which is most profound: I felt radiant and in high spirits. I also felt a strengthening bond with my son. We both felt accomplished as we high fived one another.
That evening, at home, I couldn’t stop thinking about how much I had enjoyed the run. I wanted to continue. So, when I found out about the 10K run in our city, I did some research and registered for it. Now there was no stopping me.
Since then, I go on runs regularly and have even formed a network of running buddies. So, running has also been a great way of socialising and motivating one another. The best part is, I am in competition with no one. Unlike other sports, I do not have to compete with another team player. With running, I am only in competition with myself, and that is a powerful purpose to live by.
It is worth reflecting though, that I would never have come this far, had it not been for the sweet suggestion of my dear son. Since that day, my son and I have played cricket, badminton and gone on runs and bike rides together. 11 years ago, I cradled this boy, as a tiny baby, wondering whether I would ever regain physical strength. Little did I know, this tiny baby would one day help me unleash my true strength, in the form of running.
If you’ve been inspired by Saltana’s story, find out how to get started with running.