Michaela Merz

Charity run on the Platzspitz

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730624_web_r_k_b_by_lupo_pixelio-deI am convinced that people need movement just as they need food. Without movement one becomes weak and it is no longer possible to function. Without food one dies, as one also does without movement, only perhaps it takes a bit longer than 3 weeks.

If one can combine the movement with something useful, like gardening or with a charity run, it’s even better. Years ago there was always a charity run for MS patients on the Platzspitz. The Platzspitz was an inspirational place to run and, running, to collect money, I thought it was brilliant. I invited my great friend Victoria to join in. In my whole life I have never done anything sporting with her. She agreed, but warned me that she was not a good runner. I took note of this and gave it no further thought.

On the day of the run the weather was not particularly good, it was drizzling a little and the crush of runners was not overwhelming. Victoria and I changed and started running. Victoria was slim and petite and didn’t give the impression that she was well trained and had great stamina.

So we started at a steady pace that enabled us to have a conversation. 1 kilometre, 3 kilometres, 5 kilometres. I grew more silent, Victoria talked even more. She gave no sign of tiredness.

I had thought that we would run 5 kilometres and therefore my limit had been achieved. But I didn’t dare to tell Victoria, because she seemed to be enjoying the running. And so it went on and I began to call on my reserves. Long distance running was not really my thing.

My petite friend provided the conversation alone, because I was very occupied with my breathing. I felt my legs, it began to become really strenuous. I bit my teeth together, hoping that she would feel the need for a pause.

False alarm. Victoria was running as if she practised every day. That hurt my ego. But I didn’t intend to give in. After 8 kilometres at the same speed beside Victoria, who got stronger and stronger, my self-confidence was in the basement and my strength at an end.

I thought that perhaps Victoria had geared herself to the 10 kilometre mark. So I bit my teeth a bit harder and called on my remaining reserves. Before my eyes I could see the 2000 m, which I still had to run. What Victoria said during these 2 kilometres, completely passed me by. My full attention was on the target of 10 kilometres.

I made it, but Victoria showed no intention of stopping. I had to overcome my pride and confess that that was just about enough for me. Victoria looked at me with a gorgeous laugh and said: „As you wish“ and stopped running. I could see that she could easily have run another 10 kilometres. That’s how I learnt that you have to be very careful in assessing others.

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