Njujork osvojen! U patikama 1

Vraćam film na maj 2014. godine kad sam, odlučna da moram da menjam nešto u svom, do tada poluboemskom životu, jedva i u etapama istrčala kilometar na Olimpu. Spremala sam se da emigriram u Ameriku i želela da ostanem fit i budem zdrava. Godinu dana ranije sam ostavila cigarete koje sam konzumirala gotovo 17 godina. Strastveno.

Trčanje je došlo u pravom trenutku. Redovnim odlaskom na Olimp sam do polaska u SAD u avgustu uspela da istrčim 8,5 kilometra u cugu.

Kad sam se doselila u Tenesi gde sam upisala doktorske studije, učlanila sam se u lokalni klub i tu trčala prve trke, uključujući polumaratone (21 km).

Pošto sam doktorirala 2017. godine, dobila sam posao profesora na Univerzitetu Pejs u NJujorku i selidbom u ovaj grad imala priliku da uživam u atmosferi najvećeg maratona na svetu. Energija koju sam osetila dok su trkači te jeseni ulazili sa 59. ulice u Central park, gde su završili trku, inspirisala me je i navela da se zapitam šta kao trkačica radim sa druge strane ograde, u publici.

Sledeće godine sam počela da skupljam hrabrost za trku od 42 kilometra i da trčim trke koje su me dovele do učešća na maratonu 2019. godine. Iako sam sada već iskusna trkačica, danas sam se malo unervozila zbog rute koju treba da savladam u nedelju, pa sam rešila da se primirim uz muziku i prirodu.

Pustila sam Radiohead i otišla u Central park da prošetam. Posle toga sam odjurila u maratonski ekspo da pokupim broj za trku, a zatim otišla na večeru sa društvom iz trkačkog kluba „Dashing Whippets“.

Petak, 1. novembar

Dan je počeo sabiranjem utisaka sa večere. Sa drugarima iz kluba sam trenirala od početka leta. NJujork je naš teren, ali se ipak među nama osetila blaga nervoza kad smo sinoć u jednom restoranu nadomak Tajms Skvera otišli da napravimo zalihe ugljenih hidrata za maraton.

Svake nedelje sam trčala više od 70 km u okviru treninga. Nije bilo sumnje da ćemo proći cilj, ali takođe želimo da budemo brzi i uživamo u atmosferi.

Balansirati između uživanja i napora koji treba uložiti u trku, prava je umetnost. Preokupirana ovim mislima stavila sam slušalice u uši, pustila Del Arno Bend i otišla do Central parka. Gido mi je poslao poruku da treba da uživam u maratonu a ne da brinem o njemu i tu sam se malo smirila. U ovo ipak idem sa iskustvom i želim da se zabavim. U martu sam trčala svoj prvi maraton i to u Tenesiju gde je sve počelo.

Na tome sam zahvalna Selest i Timu, iskusnim maratoncima koji su me uveravali da mogu da izguram trku. Martovski maraton je bio presudan za samopouzdanje za NJujorški.

Ova sada trka mi je, uz želju da testiram fizičku i mentalnu izdržljivost i budem deo atmosfere jednog od najpopularnijih događaja u „Velikoj jabuci“, pomogla i da se povežem sa ljudima koji dele ljubav prema trčanju. Svako od nas trči svoju trku i iz sebi znanih razloga. Zajedničko nam je to što smo deo tek 0,5 odsto populacije SAD koja je posvećenost ovom sportu potvrdila maratonskom medaljom

Subota, 2. novembar

Strahovala sam od povreda i prehlade. Kad bih čula da neko kašlje u mojoj blizini, panično bih se distancirala kao što bi to učinio žitelj NJujorka bez zdravstvenog osiguranja. Zdravstveno imam, a nameru da se razbolim ne. Izašla sam i izdžogirala 3,5 km. U blizini parka sam čula da me neko doziva.

Bile su to moje drugarice trkačice, DŽodžo i Dajen. „Šta radiš ovde, treba da odmaraš,“ upitala me je DŽodžo kroz osmeh. Nemam mira. Vratila sam se u stan a onda opet izašla da u teretani na Aper Vest Sajdu ostavim ranac sa stvarima.

Strateški sam isplanirala da se tu posle trke istuširam, pošto ću do Aper Ist Sajda, gde živim, teže doći jer tu prolazi trasa maratona. Po izlasku iz teretane sam šetala zapadnom stranom. U blizini Prirodnjačkog muzeja slučajni prolaznik je pušio marihuanu i, ne videvši me, naprasno se okrenuo i sasuo mi dim u lice. Odlazim kući i krećem da se spremam za trku. Biće 10 stepeni sutra ali ja nosim šorts.

Htela sam helanke, ali se one ne uklapaju dobro sa plavom duksericom koju sam planirala da obučem. Ipak ću lakše preživeti da se malo smrznem, nego da počinim modni zločin koji će da dokumentuje stotine profi fotografa i Instagram amatera.

Nedelja, 3. novembar

Mislim da su se glavne žurke u paketu sa svim sirenama ovog grada prethodne noći stacionirale u mom komšiluku. Gotovo da nisam spavala. Ustala sam u 4:30, šest sati pre trke, a zatim popila kafu i pojela malo sušenog manga sa puterom od badema. Leva noga me je bolela od kuka do članka pa sam rešila da stavim steznik za koleno da se koliko-toliko drži. Ušla sam u metro a potom uhvatila trajekt za Steten Ajlend.

Usput sam naletela na Lazizu i Pita. Posle trajekta smo ušli u bus do startne linije gde je već „kampovalo“ na hiljade trkača koji su čekali red da započnu trku.

Naišla sam na druge prijatelje iz kluba – Viktoriju, DŽoa, Stivena i Elizabet. Raširili smo ćebad i ćaskali do početka trke. Osećala sam se kao da smo na Vudstoku i čekamo da počne da svira Queen, a ne da treba da ustanemo i trčimo 26,2 milje. Kad je došlo vreme da se krene na start bila sam i uzbuđena i umorna. Sa zvučnika na startu se čuo Frenk Sinatra „NJujork, NJujork“. Tad smo krenuli da prelazimo prvu milju koja se prostirala preko mosta Verazano.

Prozujala sam kroz Bruklin i Kvins gde nas je bodrilo na hiljade ljudi. Ulazim na Menhetn gde protrčavam kroz svoj teren – Aper Ist Sajd. Duž Prve avenije nam neverovatna masa navijača pruža podršku dok stižemo u Harlem. Odatle prelazimo most za Bronks i tada čujem muzičare koji sviraju „Creep“, numeru Radioheada.

Noga boli, iscrpljena sam, ali me muzika gura dalje. Kad smo iz Bronksa izašli na Menhetn i Petu aveniju, krenula sam da krepavam. U trenutku spazim trkača kome na majici na ćirilici piše: „Ko sme, taj može“. Javim mu se, vidim da se i on muči, predložim mu da se malo poguramo.

Noge su nas skoro izdale ali smo, Somborac Radivoj i ja, rešili da trčimo tih poslednjih 6,5 kilometra do cilja. Osim nogu, tada je popustila i samokontrola pa smo počeli da se jadamo i izražavamo na sočnom srpskom. To mi je trebalo. Toliko sam utonula u ovaj akademski engleski vokabular, da sam zaboravila koliko deskriptivno umem da se izrazim na srpskom kad izgubim samokontrolu.

Do cilja smo patili ali se i dobro zabavljali – smejali, bacali koske dečici koja su navijala za nas, mahali i razmenjivali rečenice na standardnom kafanskom jeziku. Ušli smo lagano u Central park i prešli cilj. Gotovo! NJujork osvojen za 4:24:56. Radivoj, koji sa porodicom živi u Kanadi, danas je istrčao treći, a ja drugi maraton u životu. Uzimamo medalje i slikamo se. Jurim do teretane da se istuširam.

Po izlasku iz tuša sam se okliznula, ali sam umetnički uspela da izbegnem pad. Pogledam ženu koja je svedočila sceni, kažem: „Završim maraton u jednom komadu i sad ovde zamalo da polomim noge“. Ona se nasmeje. Pošto sam se osušila, otišla sam na žurku da proslavim medalju sa društvom.

Ponedeljak, 4. novembar

LJilja je došla iz Vašingtona da bodri svoju sestru i mene pa sam sa njom ujutru delila utiske o trci, uz kafu. Srećna sam, ali me sve boli. Otišla sam na faks i održala predavanje. Bio je to teorijski čas novinarstva i pričali smo kako da vesti učinimo zanimljivim. Podelila sam svoju maratonsku priču.

Podsetila sam da je danas i juče oko 50.000 trkača objavilo rezultate trke. Moj rezultat je, međutim, bio utkan u jednu širu priču – onu o dva emigranta koji su na najvećoj trci na svetu, u trenutku kad je snaga krenula da ih izdaje, natrčali jedno na drugo i pomogli se da dođu do cilja. Epski – uz gotovo nepodnošljiv bol, ali širok osmeh. Dobro ispričana priča nas čini novinarima.

Utorak, 5. novembar

Noćas nisam spavala. Otišla sam u teretanu u 6 i vežbala. Posle toga sam na faksu držala predavanje o cenzuri u filmu. Izvinila sam se studentima jer sam morala da sedim dok sam govorila. Noge su me mnogo bolele. To je bio prvi put da sam predavanje držala sedeći.

Sreda, 6. novembar

Krenula sam na faks. Večeras držim čas komunikacija master studentima. Nasmejana sam i srećna. NJujork ću ponovo trčati 2020, ali takođe razmišljam da se prijavim za još jedan maraton, možda u proleće. U nedelju sam se, na pola puta do cilja, pitala šta će mi sve ovo. Sada razmišljam da li će uz NJujork sledeće godine možda da padne i Pariz. Ili Vašington. Tokio, možda?

Autorka je profesorka na Univerzitetu Pejs u Njujorku

October 31, 2019

It is Halloween. If I hadn’t run into a neighbor wearing a gigantic Oreo costume on my way to the gym, I would have totally forgotten about the holiday. My thoughts are on the New York City Marathon that is happening on Sunday, November 3. At this moment, I am revoking memories from May 2014 in Belgrade, Serbia, when I hardly managed to get on the track and ran a full kilometer with a few breaks in between, determined to change something in a semi-bohemian life I led until then. I was preparing to emigrate to the United States but also wanted to remain fit and be healthy. Just a year prior to my desperate attempt to run a kilometer, I quit smoking. I smoked for 17 years, passionately, so running came at the right time. By going to the track regularly, I managed to run a maximum of 5.3 miles (8.5 km) before moving to the States. When I arrived in Knoxville, Tennessee, in August 2014 to enroll doctoral studies in communications, I continued running and soon joined the local running club. I ran my first races there, including half-marathons. After obtaining a Ph.D. in 2017, I got a job as an Assistant Professor in Digital Journalism at Pace University in New York. Moving to New York City allowed me to enjoy the atmosphere of the TCS NYC Marathon – the biggest and the greatest marathon in the world. The energy I felt when runners stormed into Central Park from 59th Street to finish the race, not only inspired me but also made me think what was I, as a runner, doing on the other side of the fence, in the audience. The following year I started boosting my courage for a 26.2-mile (42.2 km) long race as well as to run races that would help me earn guaranteed entry into the NYC marathon 2019.

Even though as I am writing these lines I am perceiving myself as an experienced runner, I still got anxious today about the route I am supposed to run on Sunday, so I decided to calm down in my usual way, with some help of music and nature. I put AirPods in my ears, set Radiohead to play and went to Central Park to take a walk. Afterward, I took a train to the marathon expo to pick up the bib and then went to dinner with friends from my running team “Dashing Whippets.”

November 1, 2019

The moment I woke up I started thinking about our team gathering last night. I started training for the marathon with other Dashing Whippets at the beginning of summer. New York City is a well-known “terrain” to us but I still had a feeling that we were slightly anxious about the race when we gathered in a restaurant close to Times Square for a carb-load. I ran more than 40 miles every week while training for the marathon. There was no doubt that we would cross the line. However, we also wanted to be faster than before and enjoy the atmosphere. Being able to balance between pleasure and effort needed to invest to run the race is pure art.

Preoccupied with these thoughts I put the AirPods in, played Serbian reggae band Del Arno Band, and went to Central Park for a walk. Guido texted me saying that I shouldn’t worry about the marathon as it is supposed to be fun. This is where I managed to calm down. I am still immersing in this with experience and determination to have lots of fun. This is my second marathon. I ran my first in March this year in Knoxville, where it all started. Celeste and Tim, two experienced marathoners and my friends, are the people I am extremely grateful to as they kept encouraging me and convincing me that I could run a marathon. Hence, the 26.2-mile-long race I ran in Tennessee was critical for my confidence for the New York City marathon. Aside from testing my mental and physical strength and being part of the atmosphere of one of the most popular events in “Big Apple,” the NYC marathon helped me connect with people who share the love of running with me. Everyone is running their race and has their own goals. One of the things common to all of us is that we are part of 0.5 percent of the U.S. population that has translated a commitment to running into a marathon medal.

November 2, 2019

Potential injuries or cold were freaking me out. As soon as I heard someone coughing near me, I would distance myself from the person as if I were a New Yorker with no health insurance. Even though I have health insurance, I have no intention to get sick.

I went out and jogged about 2 miles. At Columbus Circle, I heard someone calling my name. I spotted my Whippets friends Jojo and Dianne. “What are you doing here? You are supposed to rest,” Jojo jokingly said. However, I am incapable of resting. Later that day, I went back home and then out again to drop my backpack at the gym on the Upper West Side. I planned strategically to swing by that place and take a shower after the race as it was just a minute walk from the exit, while going to the Upper East Side, where I live, would be a nightmare because of the marathon crowds. As I left the gym that evening and walked along Central Park West, a random man who was smoking weed and didn’t notice me, suddenly turned and blew smoke in my face.

Finally, I got home and started getting ready for the race. It will be 50 degrees Fahrenheit tomorrow and I will be wearing shorts. I wanted to wear leggings but the one I was planning on wearing did not match well with a blue long sleeve t-shirt. Yes, I am that person who would rather freeze than commit a fashion crime that would be documented by hundreds of professional photographers and Instagram photo amateurs.

November 3, 2019

Let’s just say that I feel that the main parties in the city along with the loudest sirens decided to pay a visit to my neighborhood last night. I had almost no sleep. Perhaps I slept 15 minutes every other hour. I woke up at 4:30 a.m., which was six hours before the race, then drank Serbian coffee and ate some dried mango with almond butter. My left leg was so sore from the hip to the ankle. It made me very uncomfortable so I decided to put knee support on that leg.

I got on the subway and then on the ferry to Staten Island. I ran into Laziza and Pete on my way there. After the ferry, we boarded a bus to the corrals where thousands of runners already waited to cross the start line. There is where I ran into other Whippets – Victoria, Joe, Steven, and Elizabeth. We sat on the blankets and chatted before the race. It didn’t feel like we were about to run 26.2 miles. I felt more like we were attending Woodstock and waiting for Queen to start playing. When it was the time to start the race, I felt excited but also tired. We heard Frank Sinatra from the speakers singing “New York, New York” and then started crossing Verrazano Bridge. I ran through Brooklyn and Queens where thousands of spectators cheered for us. After crossing Queensborough Bridge I was in Manhattan and my neighborhood – Upper East Side. Along First Avenue, an incredible crowd was cheering for us as we were arriving in Harlem. I was getting ready to cross the bridge and get into the Bronx when I heard a band playing “Creep” by Radiohead. My leg hurts really bad, I am exhausted but the music moved me. Soon I left the Bronx and was in Manhattan, Fifth Avenue when my legs started giving up on me. At the moment, I spotted a guy wearing a t-shirt with a sentence written in the Serbian Cyrillic alphabet: “You can do it if you dare.” I greeted him and realized quickly that he was struggling as well so I suggested that we should just try to push each other to the finish line. Our legs almost completely stopped cooperating with the rest of our body but Radivoj, a guy from Serbia, and I still decided to run those last 4 miles together. Aside from the strength in our legs, I felt we also lost self-control so we started whining loudly and cursing worse than sailors. It was exactly what I needed. I have been so immersed in this academic English vocabulary that I totally forgot how descriptive I could be when I lose control and start expressing my feeling with nasty Serbian swear words.

We were suffering on our way to the finish line but also had a great time – laughing, giving high-fives to the kids who cheered for us, greeting people and exchanging sarcastic sentences. We jogged into the park and crossed the finish line. Done! New York City conquered in 4:24:56. Radivoj, who now lives in Canada with his family, just ran his third while I ran my second marathon.

We took medals and then pictures. I rushed to the gym. Upon exiting the shower, I slipped but artistically managed to avoid the fall. I look at the woman who witnessed the scene and said, “I just finished the marathon with no injuries and now I almost broke my legs here.” She smiled at me. I blow-dried my hair, put some clothes on and went to the party to celebrate the medal with other Whippets.

November 4, 2019

Lily came from Washington D.C. to cheer on her sister and me, so I shared my impressions about the marathon with her in the morning, over coffee. I’m happy but also very sore. I went to Pace as I had a class to teach. It was Introduction to News Media and we talked about how to make the news engaging. I shared my marathon story with students: More than 50,000 runners ran the marathon yesterday and posted their race results. My result, however, was woven into a broader story – one about two emigrants who accidentally ran into each other at the greatest marathon in the world, when their bodies were giving up, and helped each other out all the way to the finish line. It was epic – they were dealing with excruciating pain but still had wide smiles on their faces. A well-told story is what makes us journalists.

November 5, 2019

I did not sleep last night. Hence, I went to the gym at 6 a.m. and exercised. After that, I went to Pace to deliver a lecture on censorship and film to my Censorship and Mass Media class. I apologized to my students as I couldn’t walk around but had to sit. It was the first time in my 5-and-a-half-year-long academic career that I was sitting the entire time while delivering a lecture.

November 6, 2019

I am on my way to Pace as I have office hours and then communications class with graduate students. I am feeling happy and smiling. At this point, I am certain that I will run New York City again in 2020. However, I am also thinking about signing up for another marathon next year. Aside from NYC, I might conquer Paris as well. Or Washington D.C. Tokyo, perhaps?

Podržite nas članstvom u Klubu čitalaca Danasa

U vreme opšte tabloidizacije, senzacionalizma i komercijalizacije medija, duže od dve decenije istrajavamo na principima profesionalnog i etičkog novinarstva. Bili smo zabranjivani i prozivani, nijedna vlast nije bila blagonaklona prema kritici, ali nas ništa nije sprečilo da vas svakodnevno objektivno informišemo. Zato želimo da se oslonimo na vas.

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