10 January 2010
I Got Inspired!!
In the various places I have lived I have found things to love and hate about each respective culture: In America I can't stand the way they say "Awesome" every 5 seconds and take a pill every time they have an upsetting thought, but I love the customer service; In England I can't stand the customer service (or lack thereof) and the pathological evasiveness, but I love the way they solve everything with a drink; and in Belgium I can't stand the mandatory three kiss thing, and the fascist cyclists, but I love what freaks the people are.
Belgians are slightly kooky. Perhaps that's news to some but on closer examination you'll certainly be led to the conclusion that a people who gave the world Magritte, The Smurfs and The Singing Nun must have some sort of collective quirky gene.
So it was hardly surprising when I read about this guy:
His name is Stefaan Engels and he has set out to run a marathon every day in 2010. When I first read about him on January 1st I thought, "What is this guy, Insane?"..... How can a human being run 365 Marathons in a row? That's 42k! (26 miles) I can't even walk on the treadmill twice a week!....(Well OK, to be fair it's because I can't be bothered to walk to my gym - It's a 15 minute walk followed by a climb up 6 flights of stairs - what are these people, sadists?!).....Then I happened to catch my reflection in the mirror. From the side I look like I'm pregnant - with triplets. And while it's nice to be offered the occasional seat on the bus from young mothers who smile knowingly at my extended gut, it's not a look I'm terribly proud of. Then I had an epiphany.: if this Stefaan Engels guy can run 42k a day then surely I can run 5k a day?!
So the very next day, January 2nd, I went out to Watersportsbaan where he and his entourage are doing their thing and I joined in. The track is exactly 5k around which is convenient for me. So I've been getting out there and doing once around. I'm not nearly fast enough to run with the cool people clustered around Stefaan Engels, so I just plod along at the pace I can do right now. On the days when I run at the same time of day as them I will at one point hear what sounds like a stampede of Buffalo and my heart races a bit as I brace myself to get trampled by The Entourage.
They are moving so fast that they probably have no idea I'm even "running" - most likely they just get mildly annoyed with the chubby lady who appears to be standing on the running path. As they pass me by they seem so cheery , all chattering and laughing and ultra cool looking. It would almost hurt my feelings but I just tell myself that they probably wouldn't be able to run as fast as that if they were carrying two large bags of cat food (that's what I've used as my reference point) on their butts as I am.
So that's my new goal: to shed the bags of catfood and run fast enough to hang out with The Entourage. To look all effortlessly fit and happy while I fly around the track 3, 4, 5 times like they do. To hear what it is that they're talking about!
.......With my luck the first conversation I hear will be: "Hey whatever happened to that chubby lady who used to stand still on the running path?"