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Lace Up

New Year's was right around the corner, and the one thing it always signifies is a celebration, but also the daunting act of creating new resolutions. I, for one, come up with these crazy, life-changing resolutions that I never seem to follow through with. Exhausted by the constant failure in the past years, I felt a pronounced need for change. And this called for a transformation of epic proportions, from couch potato to runner extraordinaire. But with exam season stress and boards on the horizon, when would this change start? Well, that's when I decided that I would have a 'hot girl summer', regardless of how cliche it may sound.

When I started my journey during the second week of March, I was a beginner with no experience in running long distances except during school heats and feats. Running for me, was just a way to get in some exercise and quell my parents’ nagging. I never thought that small things such as elevation or my breathing would matter, and I never measured my pace or even the distance I covered. Week after week, I laced up my sneakers and stepped out of my comfort zone. The first few runs were a struggle. My legs felt heavy, my lungs burned, and each time I would stop, I would feel my heart in my throat. But with each session, I learned more and more. 

My form for starters, improved, as I no longer leaned back and took long strides. I no longer skipped stretching before and after my run and no longer ignored the instant fatigue and pain I would feel from my fast pace. As the weeks progressed, so did my confidence and stamina. What began as a series of short intervals of running interspersed with walking gradually evolved into continuous, sustained runs. I developed a routine. It began with a short walk, where I would slowly pick up pace and start jogging. By increasing my pace in timely intervals, I would finally begin running. I learnt that some distances needed more effort and strength whereas others required a smooth, languid motion and I learnt that most importantly, I had to be consistent. 

Then, finally, I decided why not download an app to see how much I've been running and how much progress I've made? So I downloaded 'Strava' an app designed for tracking your progress in all things fitness. And so I began running. I ran the same track at the same time I usually do and to my utter surprise, at the end of my run, I realized I had just finished running five kilometers. Through the past few months, running has become my sanctuary, a place of solace and tranquility, where I put on my headphones and escape the stress of life, finding a sense of clarity I never thought I'd ever find. 

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