I am not a runner. In fact, I hate running. I would rather do almost anything than run. Or jog. Or even power walk. Watching people run in all their vile spandexed glory in the streets does not look like a good time to me. Sure, it’s great exercise. It’s part of a healthy lifestyle, I know. But I still don’t like it.
Within a period of a month and a half I had to attend not just 1, but 3 separate running events for this project: The Color Run (a.k.a. the Happiest 5k on the planet), followed by the Montreal Oasis Rock N’ Roll Marathon, and finally the Night edition of The Color Run. All around me people really seemed to be enjoying themselves—elated even. Smiling faces surrounded me as everyone passed through the finish lines, immensely proud of their accomplishment. Thousands of packets of colored powder were tossed up into the air at both of the Color Runs as people danced to the music provided by DJs long after the runs themselves had ended. It was hard not to get caught up in the excitement and delight, and I couldn’t keep the smile off of my face as I photographed the chaos, myself becoming a victim to the colored powder. During the marathon, the spectators were as much a part of the show as the runners were; they lined the streets to cheer on every single person who ran past them, whether they knew each other or not. It was a beautiful display of community spirit, one I am lucky to have witnessed. These events managed to make running look like fun, like something to be proud of doing.
Surprise! I have made the decision to run in these events in the future. I still dislike running, but I am falling in love with the idea of challenging myself and doing things I never thought possible. I cannot stress the point enough that I am not a runner… but maybe I could be. Maybe I would have fun and feel a sense of accomplishment by taking part in one, or perhaps more, of these events. Life is too short to waste it sitting around on my couch and eating bags of potato chips, as much as I do enjoy that more often than I should. I want to spend my time inspiring myself to break free from routine and get out into the world, to experience everything that it has to offer, even if that means strapping my feet into a pair of sneakers and running through the streets of Montreal.
So, next summer when The Color Run rolls around again, you’ll know where to find me.
But I won’t be wearing spandex. I do have my limits.