I have never been a runner. I have not found it enjoyable and it wasn’t something that I ever cared about pursuing. I love being outside and I love being active. I like to try to maintain my weight (although I have not been able to do that well lately… I blame stress) and I like to get out and moving. Running never ever interested me. Ever.
My first husband was a runner and it bothered me that so much time HAD to be dedicated to it. It seemed that he needed to spend every extra minute of his time training for the next big marathon. I was resentful at that time that so much time was spent on a hobby where I felt that the time could be better put to use elsewhere.
Last summer, my good friend, Toni, asked me to run a ragnar with her. I told her yes, thinking that I was a power woman and no biggie. I thought it sounded like fun, but put no thought or effort into how to successfully accomplish this goal. I didn’t train. At all. Big mistake.
Well, I ran the Ragnar and I loved it. I loved every minute of it, even though I wasn’t able to walk at all afterwards. I realized that training was so important. I started running little by little. I invested in a pair of good running shoes. I bought a fitbit. I bought some cute running clothes (because we all know that we can’t run without cute running clothes… right.) And yes… for the one who asked…. a massive supportive sports bra… I started training. Teensy, teensy training, but I was learning that the outdoors and pounding pavement was extremely theraputic.
I loved getting my ipod and ear buds and cranking the tunes as my feet hit the pavement in tempo with my choice of songs. Pink, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, PitBull, Kelly Clarkson, and Lady Gaga would be my choice on days where I needed to pound out frustration and anger. One Direction, Jason Mraz, Shania Twain and Taylor Swift were added into the mix when I was feeling on top of my game. Twisted Sister, Bon Jovi and Def Leopard made it into the mix on the Hell No days.
Regardless of the music, the result was the same. Whether I ran or walked, smiled or cried, pounded heavy metal or Enya, the results were always that I felt better at the end. I felt strong, confident and ready for a recharge.
Last weekend, I was able to go running again and do another race. I didn’t realize how completely satisfying and liberating that feeling is. I do not like the training, but I love the thrill of the race. I didn’t do well. I didn’t run fast. I was certainly well behind those that I ran the race with. Running on my own though, with the sound of Pink, Taylor Swift, Sarah Barriellus and Kelly Clarkson piping through my head, the sound of my brightly colored running shoes hitting the pavement, the smell of the thick East Coast air, and the views of classic, old Eastern homes clicked something in my brain. I love this therapy. I need this therapy. It gives me moments of clarity that I don’t get at other times. I am left completely on my own with my thoughts… and time to ponder on them.
It is interesting how we change in life and what changes us. As we grow and learn, we realize things that we used to hate, are things that actually are hidden loves. We realize things that we have loved in the past are only superficial. We realize that strength comes from within us, and not from those around us. No one can run for me. No one else can give me that therapy, only me. I am in charge of me. I am in charge of my happiness. I am in charge of my future. Only I can control it 🙂