Owlando's journey

Running, how it went from hate to love

It was about time to get moving

My life has had quite a lot of running in it, since the early years, although I hated it. I really hated running, it’s quite funny how over the years, running became one of my favourite things to do. And here’s my little backstory on running, and the start of my fitness journey.

I really did hate running

When I grew up, or rather, the place where I grew up, you had to either like football or handball in order to have any social activities. Due to a lack of coordination, and quite a low stamina, I naturally hated those activities. Mainly because they both involved a lot of running. Kicking a ball around or throwing one around also seemed so silly to me back then, why did people think of it as so much fun?

Around the age of six, I got my first gaming console, and that sealed quite a lot of my future years. As I really loved playing video games, I grew up with Sonic, again ironically since Sonic is known for, you guessed it, running! I loved the Sonic games, and I got a lot of time in the basement playing those games. In other words, not contributing to my health, but hey, I had a lot of fun, that’s important too you know!

For some reason I don’t remember, I signed up for a kids race at the age of 8 or something. I don’t know if I signed up for it, my parents did it, or if the school did it. Still today it does not make sense to me that I entered a race when my background was playing video games about a blue hedgehog running around at the speed of sound. Anyways, this is one of the most embarrassing moments from my childhood that I can vaguely remember. At the start line, I remember thinking that I wanted to beat each and everyone to the finish line. What a twisted mind I had back then, not knowing anything about how the outcome would be.

Of course, I ended dead last, finishing quite a while after all the others. We are talking quite a while later. Since this was a big deal in the small town, a lot of people showed up and saw the race, luckily I don’t remember this too well. I only remember the pain in my chest while running, going so slow, but still that was what I could do at that moment. Hey, I wish I could do it again though.

Constantly running

As I got older and the memories of that race faded, I gradually got used to running. I did not like it yet, but I got used to it. As the gym lessons in school made us run through obstacle courses, it was so much fun, running and jumping around obstacles. For some reason, I was also quite good at it. Still did not like the running part too much though, but the obstacles made it fun, maybe my childhood imagination thought it was fun because it reminded me of Sonic, who knows. Needless to say, I loved Sonic, and I still do today.

A little detail to mention here is also that since I was a kid, I have this story about getting to places on time. This is especially a memory regarding each and every time I were to get a haircut. As mentioned I grew up in a very small town, a place where most people knew each other, and my hairdresser usually was the talkative type. She would always take exceptionally long time with each customer, we’re talking way too much time for a kid to endure. My mom always said it was important to get there in time, so she sent me away from home probably forty-five minutes before my scheduled haircut. Having a bike, it usually took me five to ten minutes to get there, and then I would arrive approximately thirty minutes before I had to. That’s all fine, I do agree on the part that it is important to be on time, I really do.

But when I got there, my hairdresser was not ready, never ever was she ready on time. It usually took more than thirty minutes after the original start time before she was ready. And as a kid, that was the most boring thing in the world, to just sit here and listen to the ladies conversations about this and that. So my solution was to just not go there that early, I started to bend the time schedule. It ended up with me going there like five minutes before my appointed time, and that worked out fine. Still, she was late, so eventually I figured that I could go even later, basically, I started to get late on purpose just to not have to sit there like forever. And that’s where my time habit started, sadly enough I still have this to some degree today.

You must not tell lies

I won’t tell any lies, this habit is just as strong with me today, and this is where running started to become a part of my life. As I got older, I quickly faced some issues with being either just in time, or a few minutes late. When I got to high school I was relying on catching the bus in order to get there in time. So suddenly time became more crucial than it ever was before, and I remember one time when my dad woke me up and we had to race the bus by car in order for me to make it. This became quite frequent, I never missed it though, thanks to my dad. People asked me if it wasn’t tiresome to always have to stress and run all the time. But I have to say it was not, I never stressed, although I probably should have. I was mostly relaxed, did not worry too much, even though I should. The only times I really prioritized being ahead of time, was when going abroad via plane, train, or boat. I always found that schedule more crucial to abide. You don’t get a second chance there, the plane won’t wait for you.

As I got older and joined the workforces, this got kind of more stressful. And it happened now and then that I missed the bus and did not make it in time for work. But luckily my boss was kind, and just replied with thanking me for giving him extra coffee time. The longest delay I had were 40 minutes, but that was due to a wave of unfortunate events that specific day. But running to the bus every morning was so tiresome, and I was super sweaty when arriving at the bus stop, and it was just a pure struggle. I wasn’t in good shape at all, still doing video games and fast food. Hey, Sonic is in 3D by now.

The gym journeys early beginnings

I made the decision to start going to the gym, to actually start running, since it seemed to be quite important to me. When you reach the age of 20 and still need to run in order to get in time for whatever you’re supposed to do, you might as well get good at running so that you don’t have to look like a beaten horse when you arrive. I signed up for a gym, and started running on a treadmill, oh boy that was so boring. I guess running still was not on my list of fun things to do. I started doing a 3,22km run, it’s based on the US Army fitness test where you have to run the distance as fast as you can and get a score based on your results.

The first time I ever ran that test I remember getting a time of around 32 minutes, I also had to hit the pause button somewhere in between there. I thought it was a good time at that point until I later Googled it and found out that a regular time for that run would be anywhere between 14-19 minutes. Then I got determined to improve, and not only to improve but to get a score of 100 points. I don’t even think I got a score in the 32-minute run, to be honest. No shocker though, as I don’t think you belong in the US army if you spend that long time on such a distance. And this is where my attitude towards running started to change.

running owlando

Running is freedom

Somewhere around 2006 while playing the game Sonic 06, I remember a quote of Sonic where he said that running is freedom. As long as you’ve got time to worry, then run. And as my days on the treadmill increased, I constantly got this quote in my head. And when spring came, I started to run outside, and it was really fun. I had lived in Oslo for a year or so, but have not really seen too much of it, but wow, I got to see so many places while running around. Free running around quickly became one of my most favoured things to do, around each corner was something new to behold. It was just a pure feeling of freedom, a kind of rush if you get me, and this rush was so damn good!

Also on the list of benefits, the morning run to catch the bus became a breeze. No more super sweaty clothes and stench when arriving. I even managed to wake up at 08:11 one day and managed to reach the bus that came at 08:19, that was a new record for me. Running really became important to me, and just as Sonic said in that game, it was freedom. If you’ve got the freedom to run on your own legs, that’s a privilege, and you can see so much of the world that way. I just simply love it, even though I started out hating it.

The current me and the new fitness journey

Nowadays I am running to beat my own personal records, it’s been long since I started tracking my runs with Runkeeper. And I keep running against myself, and it really is fun! Two days ago I beat my own personal record with ten seconds, and that was a really great day for me. My current personal record on the 3,22km run is now at 12:37, and I am still aiming to get this down to 12:00 at some point in time. But I am so happy when I compare it to my initial run at 32:27 some years ago. That’s when you really see results, and it really motivates me to keep going.

Although last year I fell out of the gym routine, due to back pain and a lack of motivation in general. I probably visited the gym 1-4 times per month, if even that. Sadly it did not bother me either, or maybe it did, just a little. But around the Autumn last year, some of my friends started out on some fitness journeys, I do not really know, but they went to the gym very often. As I follow them on Snapchat and Instagram I could see their progress and dedication, that really got me motivated again. Seeing as one of my friends entered a bodybuilding competition some weeks ago, that also really motivated me to get going.

So now I am back, with a more stable routine, which I pray that I can keep. I think it will be easier now since I’ve got a friend with me and he also has some goals to reach. Previously it was all up to me when I went to the gym or not. And sometimes it was just too comfortable to just stay put on the sofa, a soda and a good game. But now whenever that thought hits my head, I remind myself that I promised my friend and that really helps to get me there. We started during the Easter holiday, and so far we’ve been to the gym three to four times a week. And I am really happy with this routine, and we both really experience the results, both in running times and strength gains. I’ll start putting up my running times for each day from now on, and I guess that will be my little fitness journey from now. When I reach the 12:00 time on the 3,2km run, I will have a great celebration, that’s for sure!

So yeah, I guess that’s my running story and my future fitness plan! Thanks for reading!