This weekend a marathon took place in Salzburg, the city in which I’m currently living. I was in awe of the participants, who ran a whopping 26.2 miles (42.2 kilometres) if they completed the course. I’ve never run for more than half an hour so I’m amazed that some people manage to keep going for over four!
At university I play a Dutch sport called korfball. This is a team sport with eight people on each team, four boys and four girls. It’s the only truly mixed sport with both genders on the court at the same time. The aim is to shoot the ball into the hoop, which is like a netball or basketball hoop, only higher! All players get a chance to attack and defend during the game and it’s very fast-paced.
When I started korfball, I wasn’t very good at it. I could throw and catch but I’m not very fast on my feet. Shooting was also difficult for me because I’d played netball in school and was used to a shorter post. Moreover, you often have to shoot on the move in korfball, and I found it hard to balance and shoot straight while running backwards away from my defender!
However, I really enjoyed the sport and made friends in the club, so I attended training twice a week, every week. Two years later I am in the first team for my university and have played in many matches and tournaments, even scoring some goals for my team! This just shows that perseverance pays off – if you train hard, you can succeed. Not to mention how many friends you make along the way!
Running is difficult because you have to motivate yourself to keep going – it’s more solitary than a team sport. I used to get really out of breath while running and it didn’t feel good at all! Now I actually enjoy going for a jog along the river in Salzburg, feeling my muscles working and breathing in the fresh air.
Challenging exercise is always rewarding. Hiking is fun because all the hard work – walking uphill – comes at the beginning of the day. Then at the top of the mountain you can enjoy the view and some well-earned chocolate! At the end of the day you feel like you’ve really achieved something.
I will never be a marathon runner, but I would like to try a 10 km run sometime, or perhaps even a half-marathon. Seeing how emotional and happy the runners were as they crossed the finishing line made me want to have that feeling – the months of training paying off as you achieve your goal.