Why I Run

By Gianna Mavrogianni (GRE)

 

Because of the economic crisis in 2015 I was dismissed from the company I had worked for the last 14 years: had things been different I would probably still be working there. This is what stopped me in my tracks without me being able to do anything about it. I had been working since I was a student and what followed from this was traumatic: panic attacks, autoimmune thyroid and premature menopause.

 

I chanced to run a 5km race in 2015. I am a resident of Marousi - where the first ever Olympic Marathon Champion Spyridon Louis lived - and I managed to cross the finish line for the first time.

 

I met my coach Maria Polyzou and her team at a race. This encounter was a defining moment for me. She was the athlete I admired the most: an athlete that I had read about in the newspapers; a girl from Patra the same age as me; a girl who, when you meet her, manages to convey to you her love for running. She is as bright as the sun and makes you believe that nothing is impossible!

 

All this time my coach has been there for me. ”Get up and run! Don’t give up! Everything will be fine!” - that is what she keeps telling me. Nowadays I run as a member of Maria Polyzou's Marathon Team of Greece. I run and I laugh, I run and I am happy. I run and I feel free, I run and I feel closer to my dad even though he is far away. I run and my sons Markos and Aris are proud and happy for their mum. I run with new friends. I run on roads without traffic, I run at night. I run and I keep on dreaming.

 

I made a bet with myself that I will succeed, I will run and run and continue to run because I am alive, and because at the end of every training session and every race I enjoy the explosion of endorphins.

 

I run!

 

Gianna Mavrogianni

Four-time finisher of the Classic Marathon