As I went to bed late, I didn’t have any clue of how am I supposed to wake up the next day to run early. I did set the alarm to 6 am and thought if I had as strong will to run I would wake up.
5:59 am I woke up without the alarm, didn’t feel strong but the will that woke me up without the alarm need nourishment.
I planned a route two nights before, taking Al-Azhar Street to Salah Salem and back passing by Magra Al Eioun. My friend warned me that it would not be a beautiful run as it seems, as there will be a lot of garbage beside Magra Al Eioun.
I went to the streets without making my mind of which route should I take on coming back. All I had in mind was to run for a long distance in celebration for my 40th birthday. I listened to Rocky motion picture soundtrack as I passed through downtown, had a pit stop to drink water and continued to Al-Azhar Street.
I took a random left and asked for Al Moez Street, the guy told me right around the corner. Next right I was running between the old mosques and houses watching young couples whispering and old men and women wandering with their eyes listening to the sounds of history. In the middle of the street, I stopped and asked a refreshment shop for a mix of orange and banana juice because of its potassium. Later I walked for a couple of minutes so not to provoke stray dogs then continued my run back to home.
It was a quiet a celebration for me and a challenge, after all, one year ago I was running with a friend four k and was tired. So this year was different, doing 14.6 k on your birthday as a routine was a real achievement for me. Thank you, God, I cannot ask for more.
It’s Not Just About Running: Reflections on Life and Change in Egypt by A. I. Shoukry. A memoir about running and self-discovery.