I've always been into running, easily clocking 5km on the treadmill during my gym sessions, but I only started getting serious about it in April 2015 when I experienced my first heartbreak and possibly one of the hardest experiences in my life.
It was not a healthy, perhaps even toxic relationship, and I emerged from it feeling unhappy and sad. I felt that I had lost myself in the midst of the relationship. Somehow, by a stroke of luck, I had signed up for my first run in Singapore at the Sundown Marathon event and started channelling all my efforts into training for that instead. I found running to be my coping mechanism, my safe haven, when my mind started to wander back. Running was not just a great distraction, but it also started to make me feel good about myself again.
I went to Europe for an exchange programme after that and told myself that I would keep running, so I signed up for three half-marathons while I was there – in Budapest, Lisbon and Amsterdam. After training for and completing them, I felt that I have become a stronger runner, and also a stronger person in the process. Somehow, I found myself back in the relationship halfway through my exchange, perhaps out of a yearning for comfort and familiarity, but broke it off for good this year.
I still am fixing my heart, but with running it feels like a less daunting journey, and I am surer of what I want for myself and what I will not stand for. I understand now the importance of self-love and self-respect, and not letting anyone else dull your sparkle. This year, I have signed up for both the Sundown Half-Marathon and also the 2XU Compression Run half-marathon, and am hoping to hit a personal best, while recovering emotionally and mentally.