I finally did it.
I finally succumbed to peer pressure.
Okay, no one really pressured me, but many of my friends are runners. I would look at their status updates and posts about how far they ran, how much fun they had and I would think, “I am so proud of them and happy for them, but I’m just not a runner.”
Nope, not me. Not a runner. Okay, maybe if someone were chasing me. Or if I were eating a really great cupcake and someone ran past me and swiped it, I MAY run after them, but probably not.
Then, one of my friends from church told me about a group she was getting together to start running a couple days a week and asked if I would be interested. I answered before I thought. I said, “Yes!” I think God pushed that word out of my mouth before I had time to think about my self doubt and turn her down because as soon as I said it I thought, “You idiot, you don’t run!” But, several of our mutual friends were going to do it, so I’m sure it would be fun. Maybe.
Fast forward a couple of weeks. The group had already started but I missed it because I was on vacation. SHEW....I had an excuse, and maybe, just maybe, by the time I returned they will have forgotten all about this running thing. Nope. My friend had posted an update when I returned about meeting at on Wednesday evening. Darn. I was hoping I could escape.
So I went. I know it sounds crazy, but I had butterflies in my stomach. I felt nauseated. I was scared to death of running! What?? That makes no sense! I use to be a firefighter and an EMT and now, after two kids, I can’t handle running? Suck it up, Donna!
As I walked to the trail with another one of my friends and saw the group of friends ahead waiting for us, I really did think I was going to hurl, that all of my butterflies were going to come up out of my stomach and fly out of my mouth. What on earth was wrong with me?
I had downloaded the Couch to 5K app, so being the planner that I am, I had already gone through and looked at each day and what would be expected of me. Day one was simple, something like “Walk 90 seconds, jog 60 seconds.” Okay, I can handle that…..I think.
But then, I heard the instructions for our group. We were going to walk four minutes and run for two! We were going to do four intervals of this for a total of 24 minutes! WHAT? Oh sweet Lord, help me. I’m going to fall out right here.
So then we started walking. Okay, I walk all the time. I can handle this. One foot in front of the other. Okay, all good. After four minutes, it was time to run. I started running and much to my amazement, I didn’t vomit. I didn’t fall, I actually ran. And it felt good. Then something really amazing happened that I didn’t share with my friends. I had a flashback. I had completely forgotten that when I was younger I WAS a runner!! It’s the weirdest thing. It’s like when I started running, all my memories came back to me. I didn’t just run, I was a pretty good runner and I absolutely loved it! I have many ribbons and awards that I won when I was a kid up through my teenage years. I use to LOVE to run….and I was FAST. I thought I would never forget the first time I outran my Dad when I was 12. I thought I would never forget how I felt the first time I won a first place ribbon in hurdles, relay, 50 yard dash and the mile.
I realized that especially after having kids, I forgot about the fact that I too, use to be young and do things just for me that I truly enjoyed. My focus became solely on my family, my children, my friends to the point that my own life, the things I had done and loved that didn’t revolve around them, had gone totally out of focus.
So, this thankful Thursday post is dedicated to Liz. I never, ever thought I would be thankful for running, but I truly am.