In Rome there is a very long ring road called Raccordo Anulare that divides the city in two parts: in and out. I want to try to make myself clear: the area which is inside the ring road is considered the centre, while outside there are the outskirts. However, for my husband Mr Run, Raccordo Anulare means much more that this. It represents the “limes” that divides the true-born Romans from the barbarian immigrants from nearby regions and towns, it is like the Pillars of Hercules which mark off the world we known from the unknown. Once you cross that line you are out. Ipse dixit.
So you can guess, how Mr Run must have felt, when, few years ago, he had to take off his ancient Roman helmet and armour to move to Ostia Lido, a district in the South of Rome, “only” 30 km far from the centre. A shock. We had not finished to move our stuff yet that he professed himself determined to quit as soon as possible. Now, in case you don’t know already, I have to inform you that Ostia is a charming place beautifully situated by the sea, surrounded by a vast pinewood and close the ancient Roman ruins of “Ostia Antica”. It is the paradise for bikers, surfers and naturally runners.
However, my husband could not see the beautiful surroundings as an opportunity for outdoor activities, as for him sport had always been a huge waste of time. At those times I used to call him Mr Iron, in fact. I know that it is a nickname that may evoke the image of a stubborn, all of a piece man, but actually it has to be interpreted literally: my husband was in charge with the ironing (well, still is) and firmly believed that ironing was as tiring as practicing any other sport, so he didn’t need to go to the gym. Ipse dixit. The hero of every housewife.
The cold winter months passed by and with them Mr Run’s continuous mutters and grumbles. The spring with its warmth and colours seemed to have slightly improved on his disposition, in fact one day unexpectedly, he came up with the idea of buying a bike to do something different as the place we lived bored him to death. I took it as a good sign.
So this is how all started: he began cycling, then he was intrigued by the great number people he met jogging in the pinewood or down the 7km promenade in Ostia. When my husband put on his first professional running shoes, it was first sight love. Just like a Forrest Gump he started to run 30 km per week at first to reach the 60 of present-time. Then he wanted to know how good he was, therefore he started to compete in the 10 km runs, half-marathons and marathons. After a year of hard training my husband had lost 12 kg and turned into Mr Run.
However, even Forrest Gump enjoyed some company while running, therefore as next step my husband felt it was high time to look for other (crazy) Mr Runs to share his passion with. While he was doing the hard selection among the potential teams, he came across the web page of the running team of Amatori Castelfusano on which there were the following words: “A society (in latin “societas” which originates from the word “socius” that is a friend, a mate, an ally) is a group of people with different degrees of autonomy, relationship and organization skill, who once together interact to reach one or more common goals. If you find yourself in these simple words, come and join us”. That’s what he did.
After all, “happiness is real, only when shared“. (Christopher McCandless)