Living Olympic on the Coke Side of Life

Silly me, I actually dream of carrying the Olympic torch during some part of the nation-wide relay later this year. I thought it would be super-nice to have a reason to go home in November as I had requested to run Lunenburg-Halifax or Halifax-Truro, assuming those are lower-demand regions. I signed up with RBC by filling out a brainlessly easy online form and then I knew I needed to increase my chances (up to two entries) by signing up through iCoke. I do not and will not drink Coke… or dark pop.

So it’s kind of fitting that in order to make my little dream come true, I had to write a mini-essay (200-220 words in length) explaining how I “live Olympic on the Coke Side of Life.” What does Coke embody anyhow? There were suggestions to write about “the positive impact you have had on yourself or others related to how you help the environment”. The environment? I don’t know about that. But I can re-iterate about running so here we go….

(Mind you, I don’t expect at all to win a torch-bearing spot, period. Especially not with this POS I wrote over my lunch hour the day before the deadline. :P)

When I was in high school, I looked at cross-country club runners like they were crazy and rued the 50-metre dash requirement of the Canada Fitness Test. How, then, did I end up fifteen years later with four marathons and twenty other races under my belt?

My parents, anxious to see their children succeed, gave us all the options we could ask for in terms of after-school activities: swimming, art, piano, to name a few. But it was the weird combination of timing and life and readiness that made me take up running, working up to 30 laps around and around a lonely track.

I’m naturally impressionable and have difficulty making life decisions without external influence. In a recent revelation, I realized that running is the one thing I chose to do in my own right. That must be the reason I’ve been a runner for six years, through thick and thin.

I could not have faced my first marathon without support from the fantastic running community that exists in my city (and every Canadian city). As built-up experience gave me confidence, I eventually became a run leader and lead groups of 15 or so for runs up to 32 km. My role was to keep us on time and be a motivator but I cannot forget how much they helped me in return.

On this day..