For most of my adult life, I have been fascinated with the idea of running. People make it look so easy and enjoyable. You can do it anywhere. It’s supposed to help clear your mind and become more focused. Before my wedding, I began running on a treadmill at the gym. I got to a point in which I could run at a slow pace for a few minutes. I signed up for a 5K and completed with at an okay time.
First 5K (April 2008)
Running outside was an entirely different story. A friend of mine asked me to go for a run at the local city park. I was able to jog three miles on the treadmill; running in the park should be easy. Holy cow! I was wrong! Running outside was terrible! I could not do it! Worst of all, I hated it. After three meetups, I stopped attempting to run outside.
My goal was to run a ten-minute mile, the same time I was required a achieve in the dreaded physical fitness tests at school. I ran a ten-minute mile once. After that, I stopped running. My wedding dress fit. I had reached my goal. What more was there for me to do?
Fast forward a few years. I gave birth to a son and became focused on the new part of my life. When he turned three, I was still fifteen pounds heavier than I was before I got pregnant. I decided to lose the baby weight. Because of daycare, going to the gym was out. I work full time and didn’t want to spend my evenings at the gym while my husband watched our son. I joined SparkPeople and convinced my husband to buy a treadmill for the basement. I watched everything I ate, keeping my caloric intake to about 1200 calories a day. I jogged on the treadmill 3-4 times a week. I lost the weight, even getting a few pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight. However, it just wasn’t sustainable. My thyroid went out of whack again. This juxtaposed with the impossibility of counting snacks of goldfish crackers caused the weight to creep back up. I was mortified. I worked so hard to lose it and had a closet full of smaller sized clothes to show for it. Now, I was back where I started.
Three years later, I decided to try it again. I bought a Group for yoga classes at a local studio. There, I found my crew. We laughed and pushed each other. We celebrated successes, understood each other’s weaknesses, and pushed each other to become better versions of ourselves. I still fluctuated. I still struggle to balance between trying all the gourmet donuts and pretending to enjoy greens mixed into smoothies. My friends have taught me that it is okay to walk that line.
It has been a journey filled with ups and downs. But it is my journey. Would I do things differently? Absolutely. Am I glad to have the struggles to appreciate where I am? Even more so.
So why am I here? I have been itching to write for awhile. I’d like to document my journey into running and getting stronger. I’d like to remind myself to step out of my comfort zones. I’d like to be a role model to my son, who is taking ninja skills classes, becoming stronger and learning to fine art of struggle and perseverance.