Nothing motivates us more than hearing the inspiring stories of other runners.
Monica recently caught up with Andrew Nigrosh, a friend from college who has been reading our column and decided to give running a shot. The 22-year-old has been braving the winter weather in Manhattan to get in better shape and he’s loving it!
What inspired you to start running?
I just moved to NYC after graduating college and apparently that makes me an adult. Part of what that means for me is taking better care of my body. Another part of it, equally if not more significant to the point, is the body image pressure that NYC brings to the table. Hopefully, running will help me stay in better shape.
Do you stretch? When (before, after, during)?
I do! I’ve only been running for about two weeks now, not on any strict schedule. The first time I did not stretch and I paid for it with intense pain in my knees. After that, and consulting a friend from college (you, Monica!), I learned that stretching prevents this pain. Now, I stretch on days even when I’m not running to keep my legs up to par with my appetite for running.
Any lessons learned thus far? (e.g. polyester vs. cotton, finding the right pace, etc.)
Find a beautiful place and find different landmarks to help you keep track of when you run, or take a breather. There are some amazing views on Riverside Drive in Manhattan that I simply love to run alongside. There are beautiful views of Jersey City and amazing, enormous monuments. Seeing them in the distance and then my power song comes on (Lady GaGa’s “Marry The Night”) then I make a run for it and beat myself silly and then when I get there I can stand in awe at the jaw-dropping views and feel a healthy sense of accomplishment. Also, thermals help significantly in the cold. Best lesson: don’t overdo it when it comes to dressing for the weather. In five minutes, you’ll be sweating and it doesn’t matter if it’s 20 degrees.
Remember your worst run. How did you deal with it? Were you glad that you finished?
The worst run I’ve had so far was when I ran too far! I accidentally wound up in Harlem! I was so proud and happy that I did it until I realized I had to run back home! Was I glad? Absolutely, now I know I can do it, and now I push myself to go the distance (cue Disney’s Hercules Soundtrack).
What is the strangest thing you’ve seen on a run?
Last night I saw a homeless man taking notes.
Has anyone ever discouraged your newfound running habit? What did they say? How did you react?
No one has discouraged me from running, but they discourage themselves from joining me when I ask them. I don’t get it! They complain they don’t run but don’t do anything about it when prompted. “If I can do it, anyone can.”
What do you love most about running, thus far?
Sweating in the cold. As a native of New England, I’ve been skiing since I could walk and I love the feeling of sweating in the cold. I suppose I associate this temperature juxtaposition with achievement.
What are your short and long-term goals as a runner?
Keeping it up. I want to make sure I find a routine that works for me. Right now, I’m going to the park and running when I find the time, but the short-term goal for me is to keep running. Long term, I’d say my goal is to run more often and further distances. Maybe find a way to integrate it with my work life, perhaps instead of taking the subway, I can run home! Wish me luck!
Andrew graduated from Emerson College in May 2011 with a degree in Marketing Communications. Currently, he works for a media-buying agency in Manhattan. He enjoys good friends, dancing, technology and his favorite TV show is The West Wing.