Practice makes perfect: the making of a runner

Joel JUHT (D0516-EST)

Joel JUHT is an Estonian public person who owns the country's largest dance school. His professional goal is to help the youth, and with his participation in the MARATHON DES SABLES, he has the same objective: “The young generation is the future. I want to prove to the youth that when you really want something, you must fight and work hard!”


As regards the MDS, the problem with Joel is that he hates running. “You run, you keep running, and you do nothing else but running. When you're running, you're wasting a lot of time, during which you can't do anything else.” So why is he in Morocco since Sunday, stacking up one kilometre after another? “Because everyone thinks the MDS is cool, plus I'm running for a charity...”


Most certainly, but the true reason of his presence here is that this Estonian celebrity wanted to put his character to the test by forcing himself to do this 'running' thing he really dislikes. “Why do I force myself to do things I don't like? I'm used to going beyond my beliefs, just to see if I can learn. Over the past 15 years, I've come to understand that someone can end up loving something they initially hated. Many claim the opposite, but I suppose it's because they've given up during the process...”


And Joel is not planning to drop out. After deciding to take part in the MDS, he started running. After several months of training, he understood that he prefers running short distances over long ones: “The latter don't motivate me.” Likewise, running the same lap over and over again is not his cup of tea: “It kills my nature and my creativity.” Thus he tries to never walk the same paths, to “create a new image.” Today, Joel is not yet enjoying running, but at least, he proved to himself that “it is possible to overcome your disgust and learn to enjoy something. Through this unpleasant process, I've surpassed myself and improved my physical condition.”


Actually, for him it was not really about running, rather about experimenting: “I'm learning how to run with little energy, how to keep a steady pace. After a running session, I feel fine now, whereas before, my brain was protesting.”


During the first stage, Joel started slowly and gradually moved up towards the head of the pack, finishing at the 461st place (4:38:55).