Three years ago my husband and I signed up for a group hike from rim to rim of the grand canyon. I was woefully out of shape and decided to start walking to keep from making a fool out of myself on said trip. I quickly got bored with walking ( short attention span theater here). One of my coworkers was doing a couch to 5K program and so I downloaded my app, signed up for my first race, and started huffing and puffing away.
Running sucked. I could barely jog for 5 minutes at a time, clumping along like a drunken elephant and wheezing like an asthmatic buffalo. I decided I didn’t care for it one bit, but it WAS faster than walking, so I kept up with it. 3.1 miles seemed impossible at the time, but I had paid my entry fee darn it and I was going to do this! My only goal was to finish and to run the whole dang thing, and I did. At one point I was actually passed by a walker… A very geriatric, but spry gentleman who walked like the wind. At the finish line I thought I was going to puke and die, but I did it. I was a RUNNER!
Fast forward to the grand canyon. At our group meet n greet they asked us a little about ourselves. I proudly announced that I had just run my first 5k. I was feeling fit and accomplished, and sassy. I was a RUNNER! That feeling lasted all of 5 minutes, when a husband and wife couple announced that they had both run the Boston Marathon…twice. I quickly demoted myself to amateur jogger wannabe runner slower than a turtle Miss too big for her britches… Well you get the idea.
The grand canyon trip was grueling and amazing and incredible. When I got home, I signed up for another 5k to see how I could do.
Well, I was still slow…but I was faster than before. I had improved a bit. I was hooked just a little…not on the act of running, but on the accomplishment of getting better.
Running is hard. It has never gotten easy for me. I still struggle for each half mile…but bit by bit I feel stronger, and that feels good. Every second shaved off my time or half mile farther I run feels amazing because I know that I have worked for it, earned it.
I have since run multiple 5k’s and one big daddy half marathon. I am still slow. I am OK with that. God has given me a body and made it strong enough to run. I will not complain about my speedometer! I am a Jalopy, not a Ferrari and I am fine with that. A 12 minute mile and a 4 minute mile are both the same distance after all!
I still have a love hate relationship with running. I hate actually running, but I love the accomplishment of knowing I can run a certain distance. Each run does feel like a minor battle won. I am getting stronger.
I am a RUNNER.