A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
After a luxuriously long winter break, with the snow all melted away and the rain setting in, sitting in Lipsius with a cup of coffee and my laptop, I finally feel that it is time to start the new semester. This is also my final semester at Leiden, which means that thesis time has well and truly arrived. Let’s hope that the next few months pass in a flurry of hard word, hard play and smiles, and not in a blizzard of stress and late-night caffeine fixes.
To try to avoid the latter scenario, I’ve made a new year’s resolution to do more exercise. A regular workout sounds like exactly what I need to counter the bad posture gained from crouching over a computer for hours each day. Plus, the beginning of the year is the traditional time to make grand plans for health and wellbeing, although these best intentions often seem to dissolve after a few weeks. But this year, I’ve been bold: I’ve signed up for the 23rd Leiden Marathon in May! Well, the 10k run.
The Leiden Marathon is on the 26th May, and you can choose to do 5k, 10k, half a marathon or even a whole marathon. For those of you in Leiden who love running, have you already signed up? Anyone out there doing the full 42k?
I probably should make it clear here that I am not a runner. Oh no, no, no. I joined a gym in August last year for the first time in my life, and steadily ignored the running machine. I don’t know, running just seems so…boring.
So, you might well ask, what on earth possessed me to sign up for a 10k run? Well, part of it was the challenge. Having finally joined a gym and found it to be fun, I wanted to see what else I could push myself to do. I want to be very fit this year, to be able to cope with the surprisingly physical demands of thesis writing. And for my last semester in Leiden, I want to do some memorable things. Also, isn’t exercise supposed to be very good for stress relief? Giving myself a goal and having to stick to a regular routine, when I might rather be eating chocolate and consoling myself in a novel, might be a very good thing. Who knows? I might even become a devotee. I ran my first 1k a couple of weeks ago (woohoo!), and it wasn’t anywhere near as terrible as I had been imagining.
Anyway, if anyone out there fancies a challenge, or loves running but hasn’t heard about the Leiden Marathon, I urge you to sign up! Come and keep me company, and what better way to enjoy the sights of Leiden in spring than on foot and cheered on by a crowd?