Human fuel

Human fuel

Written by: Jehan Daal

Running clears your mind, gives you a great feeling and soon you will be hooked. Yeah right. Running sucks. It sucks big time. “Hello, is that really Jehan who is typing this?” Yup, it is me. When you start running and you have to build stamina, running is really no fun. At a certain point your schedule tells you to continue running, while your brain tells you that you cannot go any further.

An ordinary day
I’m driving in my car. On my way to the lake for a long walk with my dog. Then I see her. A newbie to running, one who lacks stamina. She is overweight, that makes it even harder to run. Clearly struggling: head down and hardly lifting her feet. But she is doing great, much better than all the couch potatoes.

I open my window and cheer: “you are doing great”. She looks up and smiles. Her feet suddenly know what to do and she goes faster. It’s like her tank is filled with fuel again. I smile, making her feel good about herself gives me a great feeling.

A couple of weeks later
I’m running. Today I increase my distance even though it is stormy and humid. I admit, not the best conditions for an asthmatic person. Halfway, my brain gives me the “I cannot go any further” signal. Normally this is when I start to think of Nadal having a hard time on the tennis court, but ends up winning anyway. Today that doesn’t work. Okay, time for my back-up plan: trying to picture Nadal without his shirt on. This should give me energy for at least 2K. Doesn’t work, at least not today.

There he is. A man on a bike, a complete stranger to me. Apparently, he sees me struggle. “Come on, come on, come on!” He shouts at me. Turns out that those words are exactly what I need. Suddenly I’m up and running, ready to run home or further if necessary. My legs are so ready and I go faster and faster. My lungs ignore the humidity and go back to business as usual. Now running feels like flying. Thanks to you Mr. Bike, my own human fuel!


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