Last week I did something I truly never thought was possible. I ran my first half marathon!
It’s hard for me to articulate what an amazing feat that was for me. If you knew me back in high school (some 20 years ago), you might have recognized me as the girl who refused to run
around the track, opting instead to walk leisurely while gabbing to her friends, not caring if the teacher gave her a D in Phys. Ed. In fact, I’m pretty sure I nearly failed PE more than once in my high school career! But it wasn’t just running I avoided, and it wasn’t just back in my high school days.
I guess you could say exercise has never really been my “thing.” Sure, I’d find my way to an aerobics class once in a while, and you might get me to swim a lap or two in the pool, but really, I was more of a couch and potato chip kind of girl. Until, that is, about 12 months ago, when I finally decided to join my sister’s Couch to 5K running program.
Despite the fact that Kirsten and I grew up in the same family, I always thought maybe I had missed out on the fitness gene. But she’s pretty persistent, and I finally relented and signed up. And I have to say that those first few runs were not easy for me! Even running 60 seconds at a time was enough to have me panting, sweating, and checking my watch to see when I could stop! But I was motivated by the weekly group runs and was determined to see the process through. And through it, I found, surprisingly, that I was enjoying myself! I was enjoying the challenge and seeing the gradual, yet steady progress I was making. To go from panting and sweating after 60 seconds of running to being able to run 3 miles in just 9 weeks was, for lack of a better word, so COOL!
After that first 5K race, I was hooked. Running became a priority; whereas I used to find any excuse to avoid exercise, I was now rearranging my schedule to make room for running. Running the half marathon last weekend (that’s 13.1 miles!!) was exhilarating, and has only got me pumped up for more. I know it must sound cheesy to say this, but I feel like running is more than just a sport, or a way to get in shape. For me, it’s about connecting to the earth, finding my inner strength and peace, and seeing what I’m really made of. And the journey is just beginning!