Sports is both her work and life

( Shanghai Star ) Updated: 2014-07-23 15:27:08

Sports is both her work and life

Zhang Chengliang/Shanghai Star

I used to be very good at running. In senior high school, I regularly took part in the women's 800-meter races. The coach of the school orienteering team wanted me on his squad. However, at that age the world of sport seemed very boring so I rejected his offer. But life is full of surprises. It just so happens that my current job is sports related.

Sports is both her work and life

Among various events organized by our company, the marathon impresses me the most. The full marathon is 42.195 kilometers long. I always wondered what those people were thinking when they ran for almost six hours. I like to hang around the finish line, as it is always the place where something touching happens that gives you the goose bumps.

The most unforgettable scene in my mind happened in my first year of work, when I witnessed a silver-haired man in his 80s walk slowly toward the finishing line accompanied by two nurses. I was deeply shocked. I realized at that moment that this is exactly what marathon spirit stands for — perseverance, willpower, self-breakthrough and self-proving. I was so moved that I fell in love with my work without any hesitation.

On another occasion, I saw a young couple finish 42 kilometers, hand in hand, at the Shanghai Marathon. The Marathon, for them, was also a love story. After crossing the finish line, the man proposed on his knees and they then stepped into the marriage hall. I was glad they chose the marathon to be the start of their new life together. Shanghai needs people like this and the marathon also needs them. They regard running not only as a sport but also as a form of enjoyment.

I took part in the Nike Women's Half Marathon in Washington DC this year. It was my first half marathon. People in the US love sport, and have merged this love with their daily lives. The girl in the lead was sitting in a wheelchair and being pushed by her family, thus letting her experience the feeling of "running". Another American girl had a note on her back, saying "I had knee surgery three months ago. If I can do this so can you."

These exciting words were really encouraging. Some other people wrote names of their deceased relatives, many who were victims of the bombing at the 2013 Boston Marathon. When passing over the bridge, runners from the opposite direction gave you high fives with an unspoken understanding, allowing you to forget fatigue and regain energy instantly.

There were many times when I wanted to quit, but runners around me, as well as the spectators along the road, always encouraged and took care of me, despite being from different countries and speaking different languages. In the last 500 meters, I felt sick in my stomach because of the cold wind, so I slowed my pace and intended to walk.

A woman shouted at me: "Hey, you are almost there. Come on girl! You're doing a great job. Just try to hang on a bit longer." What amazing power those words had. I started to run again. And she cheered up because she knew her words worked.

Sport can engender the strongest emotions and passion. The world of running is beyond imagination. You'll never be bored because running is flesh-and-blood and not just mechanical movements. Thus, I cannot help but be more considerate about runners when organizing races. I wish to create a fabulous running environment, offer better services and help them to achieve the results they expect, happily, conveniently and comfortably.


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