I started running almost six years ago. I have debated in my mind, often, if I am indeed running or if I am really just jogging. Regardless of the formalities, it is a challenge every time. Physically and mentally.
When I was in school, I couldn’t even run the mile. The dreaded, once a year event when they line up all the kids around the track and start the stopwatch. It was four laps and we had to do them in less than 12 minutes. I always started out jogging. Well, bounce-walking really. Soon, I would have a cramp and the unrelenting, thick, unbearable humidity in Florida brought me to a walk. I always finished the task within the allotted 12 minute time limit and dutifully received my “pass.” The next day would be the bent arm hang… which, thankfully, I was much better at.
So… when I decided I wanted to tackle the challenge of running, it was exactly as such, a challenge. Though I don’t think anyone would have called me fat, I was surely out-of-shape. Breathing and thirst were the first demons to battle. Staying running the whole time was the victory.
Running keeps you physically fit, no doubt, but it makes you mentally tough as well. I don’t run with headphones and I cherish the time inside my head. For 55 minutes a day, four times a week, I can think about whatever I want. But, it wasn’t always that way. Initially, the time inside my head was spent thinking, “Stop this, just stop this, it is hot, you are sweaty, you are getting a rash, my ankle hurts, you aren’t getting any thinner.”
And, c’mon. That’s the real goal isn’t it? We all want to be thin. Or thinner anyway.
Now, after almost six years, I can look over my journey. I can think of all the hundreds of miles I must have run. Up and down hills, hot and cold weather. I think back to high school and that dreaded mile and know I could run it easily now. Or jog it, whatever it is I am doing.