I am most inspired when I run a particular 5km route in the neighbourhood where I grew up.
To a passerby, there is nothing visually spectacular about it. However, I ran this route with my father every other day since the age of 15. At times we would run in companionable silence. At other times, we would discuss or debate a topic of interest. During our runs, he would also dispense worldly advice or console me when I was down. Just knowing he was there, running beside me through my life’s challenges, kept me going.
Sadly, for the past 8 years, whenever I am back in Malaysia, my runs (which have recently been downgraded to walks!) have been solitary.My father, who passed away at age 57, has been my role model and the cornerstone of my principles and beliefs. He is, without a doubt, the most sensible person I know. His life was difficult; besides having to fend for himself since the age of 10 when my grandfather passed away, he did not have the luxury of a tertiary education. His extraordinary fighting spirit, his unwavering faith in me and his sacrifices have spurred me on throughout my journey in life. He encouraged me to achieve my dreams and inspired others to achieve theirs.
Although I miss him dearly, I feel his presence whenever I run, especially on that particular route; I feel motivated, rejuvenated and ready to face the world again. I look at the skies – be it bright and sunny, or dark and rainy – and I know he is with me every stride of the way.