You wouldn't know it to look at me now, but I used to be a runner.
Not a very good one, mind you.
Back in 2007 I was living in Wisconsin and training for the Danskin Women's Triathlon. Yes, despite my fear of putting my face into the water, and fears of falling over on a bike, I found myself training for the damn thing.
And liking it.
Okay, so maybe I was more comfortable on the bikes we used for spinning class. And maybe I could only swim a half mile on my back wearing goggles and a nose clip. You'd be right.
But the point is that I was trying - and succeeding - in my own way.
The one thing I didn't need accommodation for was the running. Initially it was the part I hated most about training. Quickly, running became my favorite thing. The treadmill bored me to death so I ran on the bumpy, uneven indoor track where the cold air made my lungs burn pleasantly.
I started by running half a mile, congratulating myself afterward. Little by little, I worked my way up to three miles, then four. Before I knew it, I was running four miles most days in addition to swimming and spinning. I couldn't believe I was actually running, but I was.
I was never a very fast runner - my best time for a 5K hovered around 30 minutes - but I loved it. Even when the routes took me out to the lighthouse where my hair whipped my cheeks like crazy, or to the Shamrock Shuffle in Madison where there was still snow on the streets, I loved every minute.
I miss that now.
Living in Chicago, I spent all my time walking to and from places so I gradually stopped running. I missed running, but there just never seemed to be any time. Also, part of me thought that if I was going to be outside moving around, I should go do something productive, like walk to the store and drag back a 35-pound tub of cat litter.
(Unless the cat litter in question was on sale, then I borrowed a friend's car because I'm a cat lady and we can never resist buying seven or eight tubs when they're cheap.)
This year, I decided to stop missing running. I'm doing the Couch to 5K running plan, and so far it's kicking my chubby butt. The treadmill is incredibly dull and my cardiovascular stamina is very low, but I keep after it because I want to feel the way I did back then.
I'm going to run a 5K this year.
I'm going to make it across the finish line and I'm going to raise my arms above my head and say with what air is left in my lungs that I did it. For myself and for Misty, gone far too soon, who inspired me to take back that feeling.
Thanks, Misty.4 Comments