It’s the question that can come without fail.
“Did you play basketball in school?” after my 6’0 frame has been assessed. “Why, no, I didn’t…”
“Oh, then you must have been in track”
Again, no, sorry.
I smile and tell them I was in band, and a twirler, my claim to fame and athletic prowess.
But… you run now… and you didn’t run in school… is the next part of conversation…. ( well I did, chasing boys 😉
Then as it does, the conversation shifts to how I, somehow, without any youthful skill or pursuit of running, am doing it now.
How at the crossroads of “middle-aged womanhood” when I’m supposed to be getting soft and fluffy and settling into sensible shoes and clothes, do I turn into a running junky who now sports the hard and lean look?
What possesses a woman to dive into a sport that people half her age scoff at doing ?
I’d like to claim pure insanity, but I kinda just almost, casually stumbled into it. I didn’t wake up one morning, jumping from bed, proclaiming……………..
“Today, I become a runner!”
I’d always viewed running as a sport requiring a lot of…effort… and one I wasn’t willing to dial up that kinda energy for.
If you’ve read my personal page you might already know that I started off as a
happy disgruntled walker. My doctor had encouraged me to get back to some kind of exercise, so since I used to walk, I just picked that back up again. Rather grudgingly in the beginning I will admit.
As time went on ( and I mean probably a couple years) I found it almost easier to do light jogging for short times. My legs are long and I walk fast ( my sons accuse me of “power walking” at all times, anywhere haha) when I realized the wheels didn’t fall off with that activity, I kept trying to go a little farther.
I still didn’t die.
Then at some point I thought I’d try pushing up my pace a little and attempt to go farther.
Then it happened. I got to a point where I was running more than walking. I kept at that process challenging myself to run to the next tree, or driveway, or mailbox, whatever was a short attainable goal. I usually got to that spot and set my sights on a new one.
And one day someone called me…. a runner. I was flattered and startled all at the same time.
Me? A runner? How had that happened ?
It was a slow gradual process of challenging and training myself. I never set out intentionally to do it. And you know something ? I’m so glad I did.
Physically, mentally and emotionally it’s the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done on many levels.
The other thing? I’ve never met a community like those within the running community who are so encouraging, supportive and helpful to each other. Oh, and let’s not forget, we relate to so many things our non-running family and friends don’t…. so again… it’s awesome to have a huge group of
insane committed runners to learn from and share victories with.
They understand when you gleefully post “I did negative splits on my run today!!!”” on your Facebook page. They get the crushing blow of defeat and frustration when injury hits or goals get missed. They understand the total euphoria of crossing that finish line…. again….. and what that means…and why you want to do it all again.
I’m a runner.
At this point now, I comfortably call myself that.
I don’t fully understand how it all unfolded, I’ll just say, that I’m glad it did.