#7 Why Didn’t You Run?

Hey there,


This one is about the confusing passion.

He wanted to be a runner. He wasn’t gifted or talented per se. In fact, he was on the opposite side of the spectrum when it came to physique. Devouring his regular order, four double cheeseburgers, he dreamt, “Usain Bolt… that’s my goal.” His incessant speech on running, its techniques, the required shoes and the Olympics didn’t complement his eating addiction at all. The irony in the speech and the visual was amusing at first, but eventually turned annoying.

I bluntly questioned one day, “Don’t you think you’re a little unfit to be a runner?” A question like that would take me aback but he was unbothered. “Nah, man. I’ve got a lot of time. I’m going to start after 18.” The answer didn’t sit well with me at all. If you aren’t able to commit now, how could you possibly commit at a later stage?

The character he was, he turned into a joke around town. No one took him seriously. They weren’t wrong in doing so. The man could barely stroll about without taking a breather every 10 miniutes.

It finally got to him one day, “People think I’m kidding… they think I can’t do it,” he cried under a bridge as I bumped into him, taking my dog out for a walk. “What’s stopping you from proving them wrong?” I asked, having second thoughts about consoling him.

That was the last I saw of him. He’d come to class, sit quietly at the back and run for field practice as soon as the bell rang. He wasn’t seen often, he stopped attending parties, social gatherings; he got skilled at the art of making an excuse. The one thing he had - being funny, also disappeared, along with him.

I will never forget that first day after summer break though. A familiar face began walking towards the school premises. It was him, lean and muscular. The turning heads didn’t recognize him, they thought he was a new student. Everyone was awestricken. 

“HEY!” I exclaimed. Without saying another word, he smiled at me, nodded in acknowledgement and scurried. I followed him, I mean, I had to. No one can undergo that big of a change and not say anything. “He’s definitely getting selected for all the sprints and marathons this year,” I thought to myself. 

He entered the gym, took a poster of the upcoming CrossFit competition and hung it up as he began working out. “What?! CrossFit? Didn’t he want to be a runner?” I was perplexed.

“Hey, what happened to running?” I called out to him, “Wasn’t that your passion?”

“Yeah, it was. But it wasn’t for me. Guess, passion is garbage, huh?” He grinned.

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