I haaaaaaaate running. The idea of it makes me cringe. It sounds like self-inflicted torture on your calves, back, stomach, lungs, etc. People that love to run are aliens to me. The last time I ran I remember thinking I’ll never do this again and it might’ve been for a mile, max.
The one thing I do like about running is the idea that you can walk out the front door and get going. But if you hate the act itself, that benefit is pretty useless.
But I’ve been feeling fat and stagnant… full on winter hibernation in effect. So, when the boyfriend asked if I wanted to join for a run last Sunday (I’ve never gone running with him and haven’t “run” for about 1.5 years), it seemed like a simple way to not feel like a total waste of life.
But after I said yes, I immediately started bargaining. I suggested parameters like 1 mile max and I’d Lyft home if he wanted to continue. I didn’t know if I had the right clothing for running in 40 degree weather so, I wasn’t sure if I should go. I would slow him down and he wouldn’t get his exercise in so it really didn’t make sense for me to go. Yadda yadda yadda.
He had a solution for all my concerns so, I ended up running for the first time in a year and a half. I was nervous… already thinking about when I’d have to turn back and how I was gonna get home. But my very patient partner told me to take it slow, find my rhythm, and breathe slowly.
And shockingly, that advice worked really well, especially the find-your-rhythm-bit. I took small steps and kept to the sweet spot of rhythm that didn’t tire me out and pretty quickly we made it to the river (about 1.6 miles away). That was truly as far as I thought I could go, but he convinced me to keep going with an option to walk a bit if I needed. I ended up walking for 3/4 of a mile, maybe a full mile, but either way I’d gone 3.8 miles when we called it, which was totally insane to me.
There’s no way in hell I would’ve believed I could run (most of) 3.8 miles when we started or even halfway through. I was so exhausted, but so damn happy… one of those small but precious moments when you realize you’re body’s pretty damn amazing and you really don’t know what you can do till you try. (I do hate when thoughts echo cheesy motivational quotes.)
Sometimes we need people to push us and show us how it’s done to make it feel less daunting (keep those people around). Sometimes we just need to take that first step out the door regardless of whether we have the right equipment or whether we know exactly what we’re doing. Sometimes we need to stop telling ourselves we can’t when we haven’t even tried.
If for no other reason than to simply show ourselves we can do the damn thing and challenge our beliefs about ourselves.
In the grand scheme of things, doing one run doesn’t mean much, but if I can string a few of these moments together over a consistent period, however mundane, I can only imagine what that can do for my outlook on what’s possible in this little life of mine.
I don’t think running’s gonna be my thing, but there’s a crack of light coming through the running door that wasn’t there before and I’m not mad about it.