Tor Rønnow

Marathon-runner since 2004. Doctorate in Organic Chemistry 1994. Book Author 2010.

Kind of Dark

I see and speak from a point you will never understand. I see and speak with hinsights you should be happy not to ever know. I see and speak from the dark.

Let me give you a glimse. Aged 27 my mother commited suicide. I was 3 years old. Turbulent times followed to put it mildly, as this crime left my father and the rest of my family devastated, no wonder. Aged 7, I witnessed the death struggle of my father, dying 31 years old to a heart condition. This loss came as no surprise, I had “seen” it happen weeks in advance. It was a logical consequence of events. I was “deported” to a loveless fate at a hostfamily in another part of the country and this misery went on for 5 years. Then came almost 7 years on a boarding school, a times a very rough affair with both physical and mental abuses, not in the sexual sense, but still. It wasnt too easy.

All these years I had only one person left to bury – my beloved grandmother. It is now two years ago that I did. I dont think anyone can grasp the consequences of all this, of being the last in the entire family tree. Grasp what kind of feelings I have dealt with. Grasp the enormity of being totally alone in the world. Historically, it can be compared to the survivors of World War II, many of these, by the way, commiting suicide by the burden of their losses. But I hate the concept of being a victim and I ask for no mercy. I just find myself on a special path and find it hard to take many of the “dramas” of the ordinary man too seriously. I am on another scale.

So why live ? It is indeed a very relevant question ! Answers… we all have our own. The interesting thing is whether we have constructed our opinions ourselves or just live by the conventions, by the expectations of our family and partners, and whether we have the courage to live and act accordingly to who we really are and what we really feel. Let me tell you this: everything else is absurd ! You will be under ground soon enough.

Yes, so why not live ? Why not take the risk of being yourself and to accept the consequences. Why not address the important issues in your life and leave the less important behind. Living by fear is a waste of time and life… and we are only here for such a short time anyways. So go for the things you love ! Because love is the light in the dark, and there are so many things to love indeed. For me, running is one of them.

202 marathons and still a freshman

I guess I have done a few marathons here and there, been around. However, there are still lots of races on the TO-DO list, lots of new experiences ahead, lots of new friends out there, lots of excitement and challenges in the years to come. I could even begin to do speed work and such stuff, examining some of the parameters that I have down-prioritized by large until now (for good reasons). There is lots of unfinished business.

The latter has become quite clear to me in the fascinating process of writing my first book “ELSK AT LØBE – med maratonbogen” (in english: “RUN TO LOVE – with the maraton book”),

… the book being ready for presale e.g. here.

I have the pleasure of co-authoring this book with one of the most renowed scientists worldwide in the area of human excercise, the danish professor Bente Klarlund Pedersen. We are very excited about the outcome: it is a rich, beautiful, inspirering and scientific book for everyone interested in running, full of insights and stuff you can actually use, stuff that will evolve and transform you ! Yes, sorry for being a bit self-indulgent.. but hey, its my first book, dude, and I quite proud about it. Cheer a bit with me.

Myself.. I have learned TONS of stuff about my own running… and wrong-doings. OMG.. I have made some pretty bad mistakes over the years, I realize that now. So yes, even after 202 marathons… one can feel pretty fresh and ignorant. But now I know where and how to wise up and I look forward to attack some of the goals I have set for myself. I’ll get back to those another time.

Honoring the masters

How short is a human’s life ? So very short ! Every moment counts, every moment is precious.

During the last year I have lost three running mates under tragic circumstances. These people will never attend a race again. We will never hear their stories again, see their smiles, share some moments together. They are gone. Gone forever.

Makes me think a bit. Perhaps it is time to act, time to tell important stuff to those important in ones life. Time to acknowledge friendships and lifetime masters. Not that this is new.. but to be even more consequent, even more dedicated in the persuit of being open and honest and in being grateful. Grateful for the inspiration and flux of important stuff into ones mind – and heart. We have the chance to act today – tomorrow is the promise to no one. Waiting – what kind of living is that ?

Thus, yesterday I called up one of my old lifetime masters, the renowed danish chemist Anders Kjær whom for a lifetime was a central figure in the area organic chemistry both in Denmark and internationally. I got to know prof. Kjær as a very young student (aged 20) and we shared a friendship based on chemistry, classical music and literature. Imagine that (this is some odd 20 years ago). Anders inspired me to attend my first international chemistry congress in 1988, where I had the pleasure to speak with several Nobel laureates and heaps of fameous chemistry professors, huge experiences for a kid on 21 ! Anders also send me off to Norway to study at the best Scandinavian University, the Technical University of Trondheim, at the similar eccentric and renowed prof. Synnøve Liaaen-Jensen… I stayed in Trondheim for 1.5 years and had a great time there.

Prof. Kjær was quite surprised by my call, obviously. But very happy and so was I. 16 years had passed but the tone was warm and friendful. My speach was humble. I think that few people (non-family) really “stand out” in a persons life, I know that the number counts less than 10 for myself, thus the more reason to honor them.

This meeting with the past reinforces my lifetime quest: I insist on being me ! Life is so short and memories so precious, and all is so very absurd if we do not choose and experience things as the individuals we really are each of us. Living by the false or living to please others points of views (e.g. also in a marriage) is just not an option. Authenticity and brutal thruthness is the recepe I subscribe to.

I believe all my lifetime masters did too.