Churn by Chris Gowell
It has been several months since my last dialogue. So much water under the bridge, so many more spike marks etched into my skin. In short, broke the Welsh national indoor record with a 3.57.2, ran the first sub 4 minute mile on Welsh soil in 20 years, raced some in Europe, and came 10th in the commonwealth games in what was the most magnificent experience of my life in front of some 50,000 people.
My wife Juliane and I travelled to Amsterdam, Istanbul, Dubai, Nepal, and then back to the USA to initiate training after a long and well-earned break. Nepal was a blast. It reinitiated my love for running, it brought on a sense of primal instinct that awakens my passion for running. The day I have reached my full potential on the track, you’ll see me atop a mountain, in the woods or galloping a coastal path somewhere for miles and miles. Maybe I’ll challenge Paul Terranova someday?!
Running, I realize, has become method of mental stability, an avenue to birth a better day. Running is one of the only things in life I can truly control, I own it, It’s all me and no one else. Not many 800 meter/milers yearn for long reflective runs, but it is during such a time and places that life occurs: Motion and nature harmoniously coinciding. Memories and ambitions present themselves all at once, nothing makes sense but it’s as clear as day. Admittedly, this is a strange attitude as ‘professional’ track athlete, but I find it a useful way to enjoy running, be thankful for its gift while it lasts, meet good people on the way and take nothing for granted.
Perhaps more relevant, I had a below par indoor racing season, however, training has been very deliberate this year and the outdoor season is bound to produce some head turning performances. I have been at Rogue since Jaunuary 2011, it’s hard to believe that all these years have passed, yet they are still standing by me along with a great support system. I have been monumentally fortunate in my time as an athlete and I will keep plugging away to produce the results I know are possible.
I was once told by a teacher in high school that ‘sport is a great leveler’. That statement will always be with me because it is through sport that all people are equal, particularly in running. That is what makes the running community so unique and special, whether it’s Rogue running or the Lliswerry Runners in Newport, South Wales: A runner is a runner at whatever standard, we all churn, we all work to a particular standard and a true runner knows what I mean in the 3rd paragraph.
I’m constantly reminded of this when I see droves of Rogue runners knocking out their long run and all returning with a smile their face, always checking in and asking how things are going. It is to all these supporters I owe so much to.
Here’s to keeping on churning