You all remember having to run a mile in grade school, right? For the President’s fitness test? Do they still do that? (homeschool mom here, I don’t know and don’t actually care if there is still a President’s fitness test.) I hated those weeks of P.E. Dreaded gym class, dreaded the gazillion laps we had to run around the gym, dreaded being timed.
I still didn’t like running into high school. It was the worst part of volleyball and tennis practice.
When my husband was on an extended work trip away from home, he used to run 8 miles around D.C. EIGHT MILES. Who does that for fun? Who does that because they willingly choose to? Those people must be crazy, I thought.
Then there was that one time that my kids and I traveled with my husband to Colorado Springs, and for whatever reason, we went altogether to a fitness track. Maybe it was because we were at high altitude (at the time we’d been living in Northern California), and my brain was just a bit “off” from lack of oxygen, but I decided to run. Willingly. Around the track. For a mile. On purpose.
I didn’t enjoy running, but I really liked how I felt after finishing that mile. I’d accomplished something, it was hard, but I pushed myself and in the end it felt great.
That was the start of my strange desire to run.
Five or six years have passed since then. I’d describe myself as a “wanna-be” runner, a “social runner”, and a on-again off-again runner. There’s something about the feeling of finishing a run that keeps me coming back. Also, there are some fun races to run, which basically are the primary reason I keep running.
There was that first 5K I ran, a Pumpkin Run, in 32 degree cold, just 3 months after Firecracker was born (wow). Then there was the race up a mountain in Colorado Springs, which really was more like a hike followed by a bit of running back down. I ran/walked that with a good friend and my oldest, making that her first race! And then this past summer, I heard about a race on the beach. In the sand. And how could I possibly turn that opportunity down? I couldn’t. So I signed up at the last minute, found some new running friends from Fence’s office, and ran on the beach. That was the first of three summer runs, finished up with a beach-side race that I ran with both my girls. It was so fun!
And now? That first mile I ran around a track is about to turn into a 10K next month. Stick with me for a few more posts about running, because now it’s getting real intense and even spiritual. Tonight, Saint Paul’s words about “finishing the race” were in my head as I pushed myself to keep moving up a long hill, and I’m looking forward to some time to put words to those thoughts here soon.