Over The Hill? When Should You Give Up Running?
I came across this post on the Running Discussion Board on Facebook and thought I’d share my thoughts about it as it made me quite angry.
I’ve had people say similar things to me even though I am 33. People have told me that I’m too slow to classify myself as a runner. Others have said that my marathon times are disappointing and that I should be aiming for times that they find acceptable.
Thankfully I’ve stopped listened to them.
I don’t even know what it is I do. Am I runner? A jogger? A walker? A wanker?
Does it even matter?
My earliest memory involved running as a kid. My mind wasn’t there to eclipse the experience. I was the sunshine and the afternoon air. I was moving for the joy of moving.
That’s what I’m trying to get back to. Doing shit for the sake of it. At some point as an adult I got lost in my mind and by an extension of it, lost in society’s expectations.
I don’t care if I’m a runner or a jogger. Living my life to appease others is a miserable existence. At some point I had to free myself from all the bullshit to find my purpose in life.
When I die I’m only gonna ask myself a few things. Why couldn’t I have been at ease with myself more of the time? Why did I get caught up with the small irrelevant shit? Why did I listen to those that discouraged me? Why did I adopt their voices as my own desperately unhappy internal monologue for so long?
Why couldn’t I just be myself and do the things that came naturally to me? Running belongs to us all in our own unique way. Almost everyone can do it to some degree or other and you’ve gotta try and see what works for you.
I find joy in ultramarathons and moving forward over long distances slowly
I’m going to be plodding the Liverpool to Manchester ultramarathon on Saturday. It might take 12 hours. When I compare what I’m going to be doing on Saturday with what I would have been doing 10 years ago (lying hungover in bed and eating myself to death) then I know what I would choose if I had both options now.
As for the final point about being over the hill, I would say that you’re over the hill whenever you run over a hill and look back at the hill and say to the hill “hill you are a hill but I’m over you now”.
If you’re from the Low Countries/Benelux then you will never be over the hill unless you go to a country with hills and run over one.
P.S. Someone informed me that there is a hill in The Netherlands called Vaaiserberg which stands at over 300m in height on the German border. So you can be over the hill in The Netherlands. But not for long. By the time you’re over the hill you’re outside Angela Merkel’s house.