I’ve been running a lot lately.
It’s not out of force (for the most part) but out of want and relief from the stressing things in life.
I’ve witnessed some interesting things on my runs lately.
Scared a hobo. Got cornered by some vicious puppies. Stepped on my own glasses.
I thought it might be nice to share these “adventures” in a new segment of my blog titled, “The Running Chronicles.”
These stories will be similar to reading the morning newspaper. Or gossip page. I don’t judge.
I’d like to kickoff this segment by talking a bit about my history with running.
We haven’t always been good friends.
I joined cross-country in high school. No, not because I had a knack for running or even a slight interest in the sport but because I got rejected from volleyball tryouts and had no coordination for basketball, swim, or baseball. I also did not want to be placed in regular PE. The gray uniforms reminded me of prison.
I figured I had feet and shoes. Running couldn’t be so tough. Who knew there was an art to running. I constantly got reprimanded for pounding my feet too hard on the pavement. “Roll your feet,” my coach would say. ‘Roll my feet?’ What the heck did that mean? How does one roll their feet? I didn’t know I had to have malleable feet!
I hated running.
I hated the workouts. Rain or shine, we’d always be out there running. If it rained, our coach would pop in on us in his truck, yelling for us to keep going. I’d use to think that that was cruel humor. Easy for him to tell us to keep running while he was leisurely driving.
I hated the races. I couldn’t stand the pressure. By the third year, I burned out. I also feared competing. The more I feared, the worse I ran. I would do well during our daily workouts; always at the front of the pack. However, I would be at the end of the pack during competitions. I didn’t believe I could do better and that low self-esteem held me back. I gave up.
However, during the summer going in to senior year, I started running with the guys. My confidence slightly increased as my race times got better but my heart still wasn’t into the sport.
I gave up running soon after high school graduation.
Little did I know I would need to rely on it not long after I entered my sophomore year of college. I had gained quite a bit of weight. 40 pounds. My heaviest yet. People around me politely made some comments to me. I looked at myself in the mirror one day and saw my reality. I strapped the running shoes back on and started running.
I was able to keep my weight at a steady number throughout the rest of college. I found some friends who shared similar interest in running so if I wasn’t running on the treadmill at the gym, I’d be out running with a friend.
At this point in my life, I still wasn’t completely passionate about running. I was more worried about my weight.
It wasn’t until graduate school, when I started working at the gym that my interest in fitness and health really radiated. I loved working in the administrative section because everyone around me was so passionate about fitness and health. They got me passionate. The passion, lack of time in grad school to fit in a decent workout, and stress from class projects and papers put me back in touch with running.
This time, I turned to the sport whenever I needed an outlet.
When I wanted solitude.
When I wanted to open my eyes to the world around me.
I’m done with grad school. No more papers or projects. No more gym. No more stress…errr…not exactly. I’m experiencing a different kind of stress right now as I’m learning how to be a better person; more mature.
I’m finding myself.
I’ve found a passion for running. It defines a part of who I am.