Here we hear from Andy Borne who tells us the story of how he stretched himself and found his rhythm at Eagan parkrun
It was about 2 years ago, 2018, that I found myself coasting. I was coasting athletically and also in an existential is-there-more-to-life way. I had somehow allowed the rhythm of life to quiet down too much. It’s hard to feel that rhythm. I wasn’t depressed or sad but I knew that I was missing something. I wasn’t sure what it was. I was getting regular exercise at my local fitness center, but like many others, it was a means to an end. I didn’t really take the time to talk to anyone. I just did my workout and left.
Around this time a friend told me about a free 5K in my neighborhood. Low key, low tech and a one-time registration. This sounded like a great way to get into a 5K and not spend $40. What I remember most about my first parkrun was the strong sense of community I felt. I like a neighborhood where there’s a feeling of community. I like a world where we gather for a common purpose. Hot coffee at the end of a run in February with my fellow park runners is a blessing. Who’s going to make all of this happen, if not me?
When the run director mentioned volunteering spots needed to be filled, I nodded to myself and said, “I can help. They need people. I’m people!” Volunteering has sometimes been stressful, cold (hello Minnesota winters!) and tedious. Complaining aside, it’s a comfort to know this weekly free event happens partly because I, and so many others, give their time to make it happen.
It’s one thing being comfortable. We all have lifestyles that try to make that happen. However, there’s something to be said about stretching yourself. I know the majority of my fellow runners know the feeling of being passed by a ten year-old kid who is all legs, with terrible running form, and thinking to yourself, “Okay then! Perhaps I can manage a little more effort here?!” Some runs are fast and some are not so great. When I’m racing against the clock, I gather up the courage to put a little more effort into my pace. I think about my form and I hurt a little bit. It’s a good hurt of being a little breathless, which reminds me I’m alive; I’m doing something that I care about. As I run, many of my petty life concerns are forgotten and I’m living in the moment. I feel the rhythm of my feet and I feel the rhythm of my life.
This Saturday marks the 8th complete year of free, weekly, timed 5k events in the States. On the 2nd June 2012, Livonia parkrun hosted 28 runners and walkers with 7 volunteers. Eight years later, even though we are on pause, there is a lot to be grateful for right now. 2012, it was the year of the London…
In last week’s update we confirmed that all parkrun events across the world will remain closed until at least this calendar month. In some parkrun countries that message was entirely expected, as they are still relatively early in their efforts to overcome the challenge presented to them by COVID-19. However, some other parkrun countries are experiencing significant…