I hate running. I hate it with the fury of a thousand hates. My body feels like a sack of rice each time my feet hit the ground. My feet feel like two bags of bricks. I am a sack of rice running on bags of bricks. My endurance level is pitiful, and I can’t seem to get my breathing rhythm down. It’s always been this way. I wanted to attribute my weakness to my VSD (a tiny hole in my heart that created a murmur), but who was I kidding. It never affected my health. The cardiologist told me it wouldn’t close up this late in my life — though it was nothing to worry about — but it miraculously disappeared after I had Elliott. So, I can’t blame my lack of athleticism on that damn hole in my heart anymore.
Runners always say you just have to keep pushing yourself. Push through the pain and somewhere along the way your body will enter this euphoric runner’s high. What are y’all talking about? It hasn’t happened yet. When I tell people that I just can’t run, they’ll tell me they can’t either. They’ll say, “I can’t run either. I run two miles, and then I’m winded.” Two miles! That’s my longterm goal lol. I think I can make all said “non-runners” feel like Olympic athletes.
I’ve tried training once before in the past. It lasted a few weeks maybe. A friend reminded me that we were training for a 5k back then. Ha! Well, at least she trained for a 5k. I didn’t even have the nerve to do that. I don’t think I had the proper running technique or motivation, and I binged on food afterward because I was so hungry. It didn’t go well. Now, with the invention of the internet, I think I have a better grip on how to do this running thing. Recently, I got up to a 12-minute mile (started with a 14-minute mile) without feeling like the world was swirling beneath me. That is a record in my book. Seriously, I literally wrote it down as a record in my notebook.
Aside from the internet teaching me proper running form and techniques, I also had this revelation. It was a true revelation amidst almost tripping over my own feet on the treadmill. Initially, I started running because the elliptical just wasn’t doing it for me anymore. And I thought it could help me get in a quick workout, however dreadful the task. In the middle of a run, I thought about my tendency to remain comfortable. I know I welcome challenges for the sake of growth, but — and this is the big but — I want challenges to happen to me. I can be the passive receiver of these challenges. Whatever comes my way, I’ll handle it. Multiple deadlines. Aggressive people. Even sad or unfortunate events. It’s happening anyway, so I might as well make the best of it and make something of it.
Stepping into a challenge on purpose is another thing. Putting myself in a position of discomfort for the sake of growth. Not trying to brag here, but I think I’m in the best shape of my life. I’ve been exercising and eating healthy for a while now, as an overall lifestyle, so running wasn’t something that I felt I had to do. Could I push myself to do it?
We’ll see. I’ve gotten it to a solid 11-minute mile. But I always feel like stopping immediately after I hit the mark. I feel like I’m running just to see the goal completed, not quite pushing myself to new distances.
Some good ol’ running parallels:
You can’t be good at it overnight. It takes practice and endurance. Which leads to another parallel…
I know where I want to be, and I just want to get there quick. Actually, I just want to be there already. I don’t want to have to try. The journey is something to proud about, though, and not to beat yourself up about. I think about why I didn’t start this earlier in life, or why I’m so unathletic. My body is the way that it is for many reasons, but it doesn’t have to stay stagnant and unchanging. Just like my mental, emotional, and spiritual state. Literally, every step is a win in this case.
Everyone has their own pace, and you can’t compare or try to be like someone else. You could hurt yourself in the process.
Be kind to yourself in the process. Some days, you just need to rest before you can keep going.