Name: Jorge Kries Rodriguez
Hometown: Mexico City, Mexico
Occupation: Project Manager for Westbury National Show Systems
Where I call home now: Toronto, Ontario
Running Crew(s): Nike Run Club, Castle Runners
Why did you start to run?
It all started with a simple challenge from a competitive co-worker: “Run the Sporting Life 10k. I dare you.”
The challenge came out of the blue, and my first thought was “What? No way, I could never do that”. But I’ve never been one to shrink away from a challenge.
I set out to learn how to train for a 10k, with one of those gimmicky “Train from Couch to 10k in 45 Days” training guides. It was hard, I’m not gonna lie. I was 50lbs overweight, and was lacking both self-confidence and motivation. But I did it. I followed that training guide to the letter, and 45 days later I completed my first 10k with a time of 1 hour, 6 minutes. That was it: I was hooked.
Why do you continue to run?
From there I took off running and I haven’t stopped since. Pushing my boundaries is something that I had never given much thought to, but now that I knew I was capable of sticking to a fitness regime, and seeing what rewards I could reap, I couldn’t resist exploring this new hobby more.
I joined the Nike Run Club on July 4, 2015. I’ve always worked best as part of a team, and I found just what I was looking for with NRC: an enthusiastic, diverse and motivating group that was truly inspiring in the way they accepted newcomers like myself without hesitation.
With NRC, my running skills developed by leaps and bounds. I went from struggling to do a 5k, to completing a half marathon in less than a year. The Nike Coaches and Pacers consistently pushed me to keep going. To try harder. To do my best (despite how much I hated them for it).
This past winter while running with my usual 5.0/min pace group, I found I had edged up and caught the tail end of the 4:30/min runners. It was tough, but I was exhilarated that I had achieved another goal: to keep pace with the fastest runners in the club. While struggling along at the back of the 4:30/min group, I was just about to admit defeat and slow down when the Pacer circled back to me. “I got you” was all she said, but it was enough. I finished that run with the 4:30/min group and I felt on top of the world. I had done it. I had pushed myself and I had won.
What has running taught you?
That’s what it all comes down to: doing more than you ever thought you could. Achieving “the impossible”. You know what? “Impossible” is all in your head. One of my favourite quotes is “you didn’t wake up today to be mediocre” and I think of that line every time I’m setting off on another run. No matter how fast or slow I go, if my legs hurt, if it’s pouring rain, or if I’m just not feeling it that day, I’m not mediocre, and it took running to teach me that I can be better than I was the day before. Nothing is “impossible”, your potential is purely mental.
A final thought on running
Now, almost a year later, I’ve lost the extra 50lbs (and then some!) and found a community of like-minded people that I wouldn’t have known existed had I not decided to prove my co-worker wrong about the Sporting Life 10k.
So why do I run? Because now I know I can.