Before I begin, let me preface this with a little history.
I was never a runner. I never ran track in school, and in high school we only had to take P.E. class the first two years. Of course, if we wanted we could take it all four years. Ugh, NO!
I always enjoyed walking. I did jazzercise for a little while, tried boot-camp, and even gave Zumba a go. I never stuck with anything other than walking.
So, you can imagine my surprise when my teenage daughter, Sarah, said, “Why don’t you go for a run instead of a walk?”
What, me?! I immediately thought of 50 reasons why I shouldn’t/couldn’t run!
My other teenage daughter, Calli, said, “You should try it. I’ll lend you my music and headphones.”
Come on, me?! I was in my late 40’s. I was too old to take up running, I thought.
Long story short… they planted a seed. One evening after dark (I didn’t want my neighbors or anyone else to see me huffing and puffing and begging for water), I thought… Well, let me see if I can run from my driveway to the stop sign. I did it! I ran what I thought was surely at least 1/2 a mile (actually, it wasn’t even a 1/4 of a mile). That didn’t matter, I had begun my journey!
Here are 10 things running has given me since I started:
1. A hobby/sport that I love and look forward to.
2. Pride in myself. As parents, we tend to give up so much. We’re busy and tired all the time. With running, I now have something that I’m excited about and can’t wait to share.
3. A sense of community. I now feel a sense of belonging with my community and other runners.
4. A feeling of confidence. Everything I’ve learned from marathon training, I can apply to all facets of my life.
5. The realization that just like life, some days running sucks. That’s okay. You just keep showing up.
6. Peace of mind. It’s a great time to think. I’ve had some of my best ideas while I was running and I’ve been able to figure things out that were troubling me.
7. Self-acceptance. It’s okay that I’m slow. It’s okay that my skin jiggles. Who cares?! At least I’m out there moving.
8. The opportunity to be a good example for my daughters. They get to see that their mom, at age 55, ran and finished the New York City marathon. They were both there cheering me on.
9. A healthier perspective on aging. We’re all aging, so we might as well do all that we can to help our bodies stay strong and healthy along the way.
10. An appreciation of my body. Our bodies are miraculous, and come in every shape and size. They move when we ask them to, they sweat and get rid of the toxins we put into them. Our incredible heart pumps blood, our lungs fill with oxygen, our eyes guide us, and our mind can see us reaching our goals long before we actually achieve them.
I can still hardly believe that I’ve become a runner and run two marathons. But sometimes life surprises you, and in turn you surprise yourself. I also never thought I would be writing or starting a website or posting on Instagram. Wow!
I would like to invite anyone reading this, to surprise themselves. If you have any inclination to try anything new, I say GO FOR IT. And if that thing turns out to be running… I hope our paths cross one day soon.