I'm back! Well, I never really went anywhere, just keeping busy with life. The past few days I have been feeling like writing, so I thought I would do so in a way that I can share with everyone.
I am brought back to this blog by yet another event. This one is self-inflicted (unlike turning 30!), but is not any different that the first. I am challenging myself-I have signed up to run a 5K. Holy. Crap. If you read my "20 days to 30" blog, you may remember why it is a huge deal for me to actually sign up for a 5K. If not, you may be thinking that a 5K isn't really that big of a deal. Either way, here's a bit of history....
My earliest memories of running are closely tied to being called an ostrich. My sister kindly gave me this nickname after seeing the funny way my legs kicked out the side when I ran really fast. That nickname stuck; most of my family members have referred to it at one time or another over the years. Even Warren is in on the joke. And really, I can't deny that it's true, and also kind of funny.
Fast forward to high school. In order to pass gym class, we had to run a 12 minute mile. I failed three times. My aunt took action, and taught me how to power-walk a 10 minute mile so I didn't fail gym class. So, during the end of the year tests, I was the only person who walked the "run a mile" test. Thank goodness for Debbie helping me, otherwise I would have surely failed gym class my sophomore year.
Adulthood...I try running over and over again, but quit over and over again. It hurts my feet. And my ankles, and calves. My asthma is too bad, I can't breathe. I can't run a mile. I run like an ostrich. I believe that I suck at running, so I do. At the gym I avoid the treadmill, always choosing an elliptical instead.
About 3 weeks ago Warren's daughter Haley sent me an email with a link to a 5K, and asked me to run it with her. This was it, time to face that running demon again. But I am older and wiser these days, so I thought about how I could do this a different way. In such a way that I don't quit again. So I started thinking about how my history with running has contributed to all my quitting. I haven't believed that I could be any good at running since I was a kid. Since the ostrich nickname, the gym class failure, and then reinforced as an adult every time I quit.
Haley and I went for a run that night to begin our training for this 5K. I had to walk a couple of times, but I made it. A couple nights later I went again, and ran a full mile without walking once for the first time ever. I was SO excited. I have realized that there is nothing physically stopping me from being a decent runner. It's all in my head. I have believed for so long that I suck at running; those beliefs have translated into fear of running, avoidance of running, and quitting when it starts to hurt because hurting while running must be a result of my inability to be a runner. No longer.
I have been running regularly for 2 weeks now, and every time I go out I have to consciously fight the thoughts that I can't do it. It gets easier every time...as does the running. I am running over 1.5 miles without walking at all now, and this upcoming week will increase to over 2 miles. Interestingly, as I run I not only fight the thoughts of not being good at running away, but also think about what else I am not doing in life just because I think I am not good at it. I know that I will be ready to run that 5K at the end of June. And maybe I will be doing other new things I was afraid of before all because I beleive I am not good at it. Except for math. I will always suck at math.