News & Views

At Work and At Leisure, Part IV: Running and Triathlon

22 July 2020

Graphic Designer Markus will tell you about his interest in running and triathlon. Can you guess how many races he has completed in a year?  

What is your hobby, and what is the story behind it?

My hobby is running and triathlon. But it hasn’t been that way for all my life. When I was younger, I hated running even though my brother and I competed in Lilla Lidingöloppet several times. I guess that was the only time of the year when I did any running. Running came back to my life later as an adult, and I realised that if you train running, you will get better at it, and in the end, you will start enjoying it. Nowadays I think running is some sort of medication for me I also like to compete in races since that’s when I push myself harder. A few years back, I had 14 races in a year, but I have slowed down a bit now. Triathlon is an extension of running, and it was a challenge for me to push my physical boundaries even further. I’m not good at the bike, though, but I have managed to do a few longer triathlons so far.

What is the best thing about your hobby?

For me, it’s all about two things. Firstly, I love the feeling of pushing and exhausting myself, especially in the competition mode. Secondly, I can disconnect from everything else than just running (or swimming and biking) and only focus on the next time my foot hits the ground, the wind in my face, the sunshine, and so on. I can just be there, and nothing else exists. It’s a liberating feeling.

What does your hobby say about you?

I’m a positive person, and I think that anything is possible, and that certainly is true when it comes to running and triathlon for me. I have set up tough goals for myself, but I have always been certain that I would overcome them, and I have never given up. I guess I can be quite stubborn as well, and it feels quite good when you start feeling tired halfway into a race.

What do you think makes your hobby so popular?

Running is so easy. You can just go outside and start running. Even if it’s raining or snowing, you can still run. You don’t need a gym membership to run, and you can run with friends. Triathlon is a bit more complicated, especially the swimming part. However, I think triathlon has become popular because it combines three sports into one, and it’s a great way to push yourself further. Humans seek new challenges all the time, and in recent years, triathlon has become a new challenge for many.

What skills or qualities has your hobby helped you improve?

I would say that sports in general, but especially triathlon, has improved my focus and ability to achieve goals. I have learned that anything is possible, and I think that’s true for everything in life. Triathlon has several incredible stories of people achieving impressive goals regardless of their age, prior injuries, disabilities, and so on. Hearing stories like that of the Iron Nun, you certainly feel impressed and humble. Iron Nun is a nun who has completed over 45 Ironman competitions in her life, and she is the oldest person to finish the competition at the age of 82. She’s 90 years old now, and she is still racing. There are several stories like this, and all of them are proof that anything is possible.