For part five of this series, we’re deviating from guest bloggers and having me, Runner’s Delight, bust out some mighty fine tales of feet first hitting the ground.
Starting to run required one thing that I did not have until I was unemployed: Time.
I wouldn’t say I ever felt the desire to run. Sure, I ran track socially in elementary school* and then proceeded to use the running shoes my father bought me when I was 14 (in hopes I’d run track in high school no doubt) as back-up kicks and for sports like badminton and basketball classes in college.
But once graduate school was over, I was very peculiarly left with a lot of time on my hands. No school. No job except for teaching Jazzercise a few nights a week. Nada. Chillaxing in my house lost it’s appeal rather quickly, and eventually, I took my aerobically inclined shoes (Sketchers…yes, Sketchers) to the hilly streets outside my house on a whim more than anything else. As a way to get away from my resume for awhile.
Eight minutes later, I was back in my house. (Yup, when I started, I interestingly didn’t need much time.) This continued for a spell, occasionally with me even running twice a day because I was pretty bored. And hey, it only took 20 minutes out of my day to do it, and I’d be exhausted afterward and ready to sit down and focus on cover letters.
It wasn’t until the day came I decided to walk around Lake Merced, a four-mile lake on the south side of San Francisco, that I think running really took off for me. I started my walk, and was bored about six minutes in. I was anxious, and wanted the walk to be over faster. So I started running. I didn’t think I’d make it very far, but then I did the whole lake without stopping. All those short, split up “runs” had actually built my endurance and strength.
I didn’t always want to run. Or like it much. It was hard and involved one heck of a lot of sweat. But I loved the feeling of watching the world as I ran, soaking in the colors and the shapes and the textures in a way I wouldn’t feel in a car or if I was reading a book at home. But I made myself do it, every day. The deal was I had to go out for at least ten minutes, and if I hated it after that I could stop and go home – this is the same deal I have with myself nowadays, too.
Just as we’re not sure if art imitates life or life imitates art, I’m not sure if running shaped who I am or if I shaped myself into running. Regardless, my constant mind movement now has a physical outlet, my desire to strive to seek to find and not to yield has a constant battles to play with, win, lose and try out. To be fair, I liked being super-busypants before running – so I think running just enhanced that quality in me. Forward motion.
So how does one start running? Slowly. And with a sense of patience with yourself, as well as having some tough-love to force yourself to do it.
And if you’re really at a loss, message me and I’ll come run with you. Seriously. I got this.
*Mary, one of the parent coaches, taught her daughter Karen and me how to change from a sports bra to a regular bra all under your own shirt without anyone being the wiser (yes, a trick I still utilize today). I felt this was important to note.