It all started three years ago. I had been running for about a year and had fallen deeply in love with the sport. One day I told my mother – a tiny but amazing lady who’d never ran a day in her 53 years: “Why don’t you come for a run in the park with me and the dogs?” She looked at me puzzled and said,
“Run? Are you crazy? Do you want to kill me?” in a joking, but partially serious tone.
But to her (and my) surprise she ended up telling me, "It wasn’t that bad!" and that was the beginning of it all. She bought some sportswear, a pair of trainers, and started to go running every day promptly at 5am, across the dark streets of my hometown, with a dog leash in each hand.
After two months, I enrolled her in her first 5K. I knew that was the kind of motivation she needed to get hooked. She was very nervous, but I remember telling her that those anxious feelings were a normal emotional response and that they would soon evolve from nerves to self-confidence and pride. She crossed the finish line without any problems and I gave her a big hug. This was the first in a long line of now-mandatory mother-and-son-hugs after achieving a new goal. After a few more races, 5ks turned into 10ks and before I knew it, my mother was signed up for her first half marathon.
We chose a beach location for the big race and when the day came, I knew she was ready and could see the fire in her eyes. It was like she had her own cheerleading squad there to encourage her along.
”Come on! You can do it! You’re almost there!”
We shouted as we ran beside her. When she entered the stadium, everyone applauded – it was as if she were fighting for an Olympic medal. She crossed the finish line and we hugged.
"I made it, I made it,” she said as we embraced.
That year, my mother would end up running five half-marathons. Not only has she completed four more so far in 2016 but she’s officially registered for the Mexico City Marathon too. We don’t know if she will run it all, the only real goal is to make it more than 23k, which is currently her maximum distance.
Other than leading a healthier lifestyle and reaching new goals, the other reason I have such a deep love of running is because of how it has helped enrich my relationship with my mother. Before participating in races together, we went long periods without seeing each other and when we did, we didn’t have much to talk about.
The truth is that running became more than just a pleasant hobby we could share. It revived and strengthened our relationship. Although we may not be elite runners and we may never win any competitions, running has helped us find our greatest inspiration – each other.
I run for her, and she runs for me.
By: Manuel Espinosa Nevraumont, #FindYourStrongTeam Ambassador