The Reason of Perseverance──In Retrospect of Joining Taiwan Changhua Fitzroy Marathon

Cathy Ngo, Year 4, Nursing

Running has once been my most hated sports activity. I could not imagine I would love running in my lifetime, which is incredible and surprising.

I have started to run since last year. The reason is simple—to lose weight. I basically achieved my goal after persevering for two months. Overwhelmed by term-end assignments, however, I gradually had excuses not to persevere. I even lost the impetus to run although I had the thought of picking up on the habit. Early in this year, my friends in church highly encouraged me to apply for the 10km Challenge of the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon. In view of such a huge driving force which motivated me to run again, I thought I should not miss this valuable chance. I did not want to wheeze after running too. These factors inspired me to try out if I could turn running into my hobby.

A message ‘Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional’ lingered in my mind at that time. Probably, running would not be a ‘suffering’ to me one day. I started to run hereafter: From track running to street running, I sometimes ran with friends or like-minded runners. Sometimes I tried short distance speed training, sometimes long distance jogging.

Every time I run, I confront my physical limitations and inner struggles.
‘Can I finish running the distance I expected?’
‘So exhausted. I really want to pause, but I don’t want to give up.’
‘The weather is so cold/ hot. Can I choose not to run this time?’

Exhausted though, the satisfaction of enduring the toughness to the end and recalling the moments of what I experienced in running always gives me a stronger motivation to persevere next time.

I discover the world is vast when running gradually becomes my routine training, my leisure activity, self-knowledge and breakthrough in life. Over the summer vacation, my roommate and I completed our ‘first-ever half marathon’ in Taiwan. We experienced the warm support and encouragement from local residents and runners. We appreciated the vast blue sky and endless paddy field scenery in Changhua Xizhou (彰化溪洲). From this exposure, I realised that I could see the world on foot through participating in marathons in different places. I could feel the world from a different perspective.

Haruki Murakami remarked on running in his book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running: ‘If I stopped running just because of busies, I would be destined that I couldn’t run in my lifetime. There’re only a few reasons to keep on running, but the excuses to give up could fill a truck! What we could do is to cherish the “few reasons” and shine through. Once we “run into” the chances, we should practise thoroughly and diligently.’ I know that my future would be filled with bustle, and my physical and psychological struggles would get more intense. I am willing to, nevertheless, continue running because of the ‘few reasons’.