I didn't run the whole weekend and also yesterday. I felt guilty, because I hate missing a workout but at the same time I know I need rest since my knees were hurting constantly last week. Plus, I need to rest mentally too. There's no point in getting bored with my run since I plan to do it often.
Yesterday I was hanging out with my boyfriend and his bestfriend. I was contemplating to have my Monday run but at the same time feeling lazy to. They convinced me to take a rest, saying that there's no point on me running if I don't improve - a result of being mentally tired. I told them at least I still run. Any run is better than no run. This got us talking about sports.
My boyfriend and his bestfriend met when they were representing Nike Freestyle for football and basketball respectively. They're, in not so many words, good in what they do. My boyfriend has played for many tournaments and football leagues. Both of them were professional sportsmen until injuries/realife/studies took over. My boyfriend now coaches football full time to Japanese kids. They are, in short, 'true blue athletes'.
When I started running competetively, my goal was simple: to complete the race running. That's all. It was never about winning anything because I'm not really a competetive person. So when I completed my first 10k run after 2 weeks of 'training', and got the qualifier medal, I was estatic. I called my boyfriend up to tell him the news, to which he asked, "What number did you get?" When I told him that I ran under the qualifying time and got the medal, his response wasn't really what I expected.
I understand where my boyfriend is coming from. His sports is highly competetive and has a definite win-lose record. You're pitting against the other team and your goal is to win. And then win the next game and the next. Therefore he thinks that all sports require the same output. To him, there is nothing at all to having completed a 10k and getting a medal for it. You don't win if you're not in number 1. He doesn't seem to know the sense of euphoria and achievement I felt when I crossed the finish line. I ran 10 stinking kilometres and I did not walk at all. Ran. In fact, I sprinted at the end. To me, finishing that is awesome enough. That's WINNING for me. I've managed to defeat every single voices in my mind and head screaming for me to stop. I rose to the challenge. Years ago, I thought 10k was a daunting distance. He thinks just because I don't have a winning goal, and that it's merely finishing the race, it's not worthy of the same sense of elation/achievement.
We sort of argued for hours over the fact. The worst was when his friend said, "This is bad of me to say this, but, I don't think running is a sport," HAH! I nearly laughed out loud when I heard that. Of all the cocky, ignorant remarks they could say... but I chalked it up to them just having the typical Male mentality. I mean, how ignorant can they get? A true sports person would never say that. A sport is a sport, even something as docile as... lawn bowling. All sports require the dedication and discpline to get better, the mental strength to overcome negativity. Just because one sport is less physically exhausting or exciting or demanding, doesn't mean that it's pointless.
It's highly disappointing that they think like that. Mind you, we are talking about athletes here - during their football/basketball season, they have all out daily trainings, sports doctors, they get massages and have monitored diets - but mentally they're as matured as ants.
I don't think I'll be the sort of runner that will be aiming for any top 5 finishes. I run because I like knowing that I am capable of pushing myself. I like knowing that I do not give up easily when in other aspects of real life I do. I like mentally going through things when I run. I am happy finishing a race running. I might not be an elite runner or one with many ribbons or medals. But I am still a runner, and running is a sport.
And if my egoistic cocky boyfriend thinks the otherwise, it's a sad sad thing for him. I won't even bother correcting. Or defending. There's nothing to defend.