Today I ran

I got up this morning and ran on the treadmill. Mostly because I ate a blizzard last night and completely blew my calorie count for the day, but also because taking three or four days off between runs makes the running I do sort of…hard.

Sometimes when I run I let my mind wander places it normally wouldn’t go. This morning I was thinking about how I got into running. In elementary school I was NOT into sports. I hated the thought of doing anything more active than riding my bike to the library to check out books I should NOT have been reading – hellloooo? Dad? Your 10 year old is reading “Carrie” and wishing she was telekinetic. In junior high, I played volleyball and basketball but stayed far far away from track – who would be lame enough to do THAT?! Then I moved to Shithole, Colorado (otherwise known as Cotopaxi – sorry, Stephi). I played volleyball and basketball that first year and when track rolled around I joined because everyone else did. I was going to be a high jumper not because I could actually jump, but because I thought they wouldn’t have to run. Turns out, I couldn’t jump. Not at all. Not even a little bit. So at our first “practice meet” my coach said, “go try running the 100.” I did. I beat everyone. Whoa. Weird. So I started running. I was always a sprinter, though. No distance for me. Then at the end of the season, my coach said, “we’re starting a cross country team next year and I think you should join.” Uh…..no. He said, “you’re a terrible volleyball player (yes, I was), so you should do this to at least get in shape for basketball (which was “MY” sport).” He was a smart man, that one.

So I began cross country. And I was TERRIBLE. I didn’t want it to hurt, so I went slow. Or I walked. That first year, I finished last at the state meet (after riding the coattails of my teammates to get there – thanks, Stephi!). It did make me better at basketball though and even in track. And for three years I ran every fall and every spring. And I sort of liked it. And then I went to college and I ran there – and I made it hurt, both on the roads and on the track. And I got to be okay at it, but more importantly, I started to like it a lot.

Years went by and I ran on and off through coaching, through being pregnant with Megan, through my divorce, through needing to lose weight. Two years ago I started training for my first 10K and it was fun. I loved, like I always have, the racing. I loved being fit and toned and looking good. And then I stopped.

Why, I don’t know. It’s always been a love-hate thing with me: I love the product of sticking to it for weeks at a time, I hate getting through the first few weeks. I love the fitness, I hate the work. I love the race, I hate the training. I love that it gives me time to think, I hate what I sometimes think about.

But I’m back on the road (well, the treadmill…it’s cold). And it hurts. And I think about all I’ve lost and all that will be a challenge in the coming months. But then I think about how I got here. I think about my coaches and my friendships and my successes and I realize that at the heart of my life, running has always been a part of that. And I find a reason to go one more step, one more minute, one more mile.

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4 Comments

  1. I enjoyed reading this today. I miss you! That is all.

  2. I’m with Leah – what a great post. I miss you, too!

  3. There’s something you CAN control…. Run on, my friend, run on! (And I never wanted it to hurt either – still don’t!! Difference is, I don’t do it. I’m glad you have the guts and the drive.)

  4. And…..he was a smart man – I don’t know about you but he was such an influence in my life. I sometimes wonder if teachers and coaches realize the impact they might be having on their students. I’d like to run into him again someday and let him know how much he meant to me – not in a weird school-girl crush sort of way – you know what I mean – right? From the way your students seem to respond to you (on FB) you must be one of those teachers/coaches too. That’s something to be proud of.


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