I've always hated running. That's an understatement of epic proportions. I've hated running, and everything to do with running. I've hated runners, not individually because I love a great deal of people who run, but collectively as a group, I've hated runners. I've poked fun at runners claiming that there is no such thing as a quiet runner-- they're always going on about how many miles they've clocked that day to anyone who will stand still long enough to be told etc.
To really understand why though, we'll have to go back a few years. Let's start with Ballet. In Ballet, I was taught to prance and float on my toes, and it wreaked havoc on my running abilities and self esteem. When I was a child, we were made to run a mile twice a year in PE, and for me at that time, Turkish prisons would have been more appealing. Later on in my teen years, I was told that I "have bad knees." These are the excuses I've used my entire life to get out of running. In fact I have always believed that my utter demise would come in the form of someone chasing after me with a weapon of some sort, because I wouldn't be able to run away.
A couple of odd things have happened lately though-- first of all, I have energy for the first time in years (I think this is directly related to the extra 60 lbs that I don't have to lug around anymore). I'm dancing around and twirling and racing my kids back and forth. I just find myself wanting to explode into some activity or another lately, and one such time was at my parents' house not long ago. We were all gathered around talking, but I had to get up and move and I suggested to myself to run. Run?! I don't run. Me wanting to run for any reason is crazy, but I couldn't shake it so I went downstairs and ran from one end of my parents' basement to the other two or three times as fast as I could. And... it felt amazing. I was flying. I felt untouchably fast. A few weeks later, while on a trip to Disneyland, it happened again. Jon asked me to check out the menu from a restaurant down the way across the park, and for some reason, I wanted to run-- fast. And so I did. I darted this way and that between people and strollers and kids and Disneyland characters, and it felt great. I smiled ear to ear, and I think everyone thought I was nuts or in a state of emergency.
After that, I kinda just couldn't get that feeling out of my head, and for the first time in my life, I thought: hey maybe I could be a runner... Maybe if I got the right kind of shoes... Maybe it would firm up that squishy mid section of my body... Maybe it would make me feel good... Maybe... Maybe I would actually like it...
The funny thing about running though, you can't just sleep around with it-- you have to commit to it up front by purchasing a very expensive pair of shoes that will save you from pain and injury. Once you do that though, the world is your oyster-- or more accurately-- your track. So I committed and went to the store where the local runners go to worship and I said my vows and became espoused to a brand new pair of running shoes. It was a humbling experience to say the least, I had to run in front of perfect strangers and admit that I knew nothing of the sport amid other seasoned runners who were throwing out words like "marathon" and "5K" and other foreign running vernacular. But the guy helping me was very kind and not at all condescending, and as I left, a woman wished me luck and just like that I felt like I had joined some sort of club.
I promise not to overdo it at first and I promise to stick with it no matter what, and you know, if I can do this, I think I can do just about anything.