I don’t consider myself a runner — at least not a serious one. I’ve joined several races since probably more than 10 years ago, but I did it mostly for the fun of it.
Whether alone or with friends, there was never a competitive requirement I imposed on myself. If I didn’t finish any of them, for one reason or another (a fast-food stop would count as a valid one), I would probably be okay with it too.
Nonetheless, I finished all of them. And I am proud of that fact.
Because you see, I’m not really the athletic type. I don’t even think I have a runner’s body. I have a theory that my scoliosis is a factor as to why I couldn’t push my lungs to the extreme — not just in running, but for any other sport. It just comes to a point that it’s really hard to breathe!
That said, I’m simply happy to experience the freedom that goes along with running. In races, you experience that on open roads (for the better-planned ones, at least), where you get to dictate how fast you want to run. And you get to bask and be surrounded by this wonderful energy of people who love running too!
As someone who loves learning, discovering this sport was really exciting.
So when I heard that Patrick Conception, the Running Shield, passed away last week, I felt an unexpected sadness from losing someone. I don’t know him personally, but I have immense respect for people like him who pursue their passion and find ways to meaningfully share it with others.
I am grateful for all that he has done for the sport, for making people realise that there really is joy in running. And for somehow making that a little bit more accessible to more people. And for making a positive ripple that has somehow touched my life too!
Like many inspiring life stories, his race was worth celebrating.
So thank you, sir! May you rest in peace, power and eternal happiness in the fields where you can run to your heart’s content.