If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you already know. If not, thanks ! You give me another chance to say it : I am a half-marathoner ! I already ran 5 or 10 km race, but a half-marathon… It was the first time ! As weird as it can be, living in Kuwait made me become sporty. Let me explain how.
Me and sports
When I was a kid, I used to bike and run and jump but never ever I went to sports classes. I was too shy for this. At school, I was always wearing skirts or beautiful dresses the days we had sport. Only because I didn’t want to do any sport !
When I became a teenager… It became worse : always on the bench to not do anything. I always was blaming a cold, a flu, headache… Everything was a perfect excuse to not do any sport. I spent hours on a bench, watching my friends sweating and suffering.
Obviously, I tried everything to lose weight : machines, steps. I read everything to know how to become fit, how to have skinny tights, how to be skinny, how to have a six pack. And yeah, I tried ! Three days every six months, basically.
How I started running
I started running one year before coming to Kuwait, in 2014. I decided to quit smoking and I didn’t want to gain weight. One of my friends told me that she didn’t gain weight because every time she wanted to smoke, she ran instead of smoking. So I decided to do the same.
A Saturday morning, I wore my running shoes and I ran. I didn’t follow any plans, but just two minutes running, one minute walking for half an hour. I came back home sweating and suffering. And I did it again two days after, and it became an habit.
The 14 of June 2014, I was with other runners for my first 10k. I signed up for the 10km de l’Equipe in Paris. My first race, the first time I ran 10k without walking, my first medal. I cried a bit when I crossed the finish line, my parents were here to support me. After this, I decided to do other races and I started looking for funny races. And at the end of June, I signed my contract with the school in Kuwait. I had to give up on my new challenges to focus on the biggest one : I was moving abroad !
The sport break
I arrived in Kuwait in August 2015, it’s more than 45 degrees outside, I start working really early and it’s hard for me to adapt. This new rhythm is really hard and I can’t find time to run. My colleagues keep running on the seaside and I don’t understand how they can. Speaking makes me sweat so running… I can’t imagine doing it.
One night, I went out for a run. 3 kilometers in pain. My whole body was suffering : from my feet to my head and I really don’t want to talk about my lungs. I was literally dying. It was at night, but it was thirty seven degrees and I’ve never experienced that heat before. It was hard to breath. I tried a few times, but it was always a torture for me.
I tried to challenge myself, but it was really hard. One night, I ran 11 kilomètres, it was 41 degrees outside. I started being disgusted of running and I stopped.
Sports, a huge thing in my daily routine
Christmas 2016, I realized that I gained a lot of weight and I decided to lose it. I start again running and pay attention at my food.
Three times a week, before the sunrise, I go out and I run. I wake up at 4AM and every morning, I am able to enjoy the sunrise on the seaside. Step by step, I start becoming addicted to running. When I don’t run, I am nervous, anxious and even a bit sad. I get mad easily. I stopped running after a performance, I run after my mental health.
Life in Kuwait is a comfortable routine. You have to find something to do to not die. For me, to live in Kuwait was the best occasion to take care of myself and my body. I learn how to listen to my body, to what it needs and what it wants.
Otherwise, I have today a really sane relationship to sports. My social life is not according to my runs and I am ok to made modifications in my program if I wanna go out with friends. I learn to not check on my performance only. I tried to mentally be stronger because today, I trust my body as I never did before.
Why in Kuwait and not in France ?
In my opinion, Kuwait is the perfect place to start being sporty. Gyms are temples, it’s huge and you have whatever you want. You can easily find personal trainers (good or bad, it’s another debate…)
You will mostly find a lot of enthusiasts who only want to share their passion with people. I ran my half-marathon with a runner who has a huge experience in running. And honestly, I think he was happier than me to do it with a beginner.
Here, people who love sports only want to share what they love. They want you to understand what they feel and it seems like they want you to feel it too. Here, life is a routine. You have time and energy to do it. And you will always be surrounded by people who are passionate and only want to share. They don’t judge you, most of the time. You will always be congratulated for what you did.
In Paris, there is this competition spirit everywhere. To run a half-marathon is not enough, you have to do it in less than one hour and half. Ok to be a marathoner but you can talk about it only if you did it in less than 4 hours. Even people who don’t run ask about your time and judge you.
I found in Kuwait what I couldn’t find in Paris. I am not ashamed to be really slow because around me, nobody will judge me from what I did. After the half-marathon, I was walking around and everybody congratulated me without asking me for my time. The most important is that I woke up, ran and crossed the finish line.