At 5:45 a.m. at least three times a week, I wake up, inch out of our bed without disturbing my husband, and tiptoe into my closet. Half asleep, I look for my shorts, a shirt, and my socks. I head to the garage and find my running shoes, the ones with a tag affixed to the shoelace that reminds me to “Never Give Up.”
The headphones in my ear and I am ready to dash. I start running and the first half mile hurts. I want to stop so bad, but I don’t. The knees feel a little strained, but I keep going. It is a good pain. I breathe in and out and the cadence wills me to go on. Midway through the second mile, I am enjoying my run, taking in the sounds around me, feeling my arms swing, the feet in a rhythm. At the end of the run, I am fatigued, but rejuvenated.
I know some of you think I am crazy. I would have agreed with you about three years ago. I had never tried running, other than dashing to the phone in my apartment. I wasn’t athletic growing up. I didn’t play softball, basketball, and to be honest, when PE time came around, I lingered a little in the locker room because I wasn’t a big fan of kickball. I came late to running only because my husband convinced me to try it to shed a few of those pesky lingering pounds. In the beginning, I only started running to lose weight. My marriage with running evolved when I participated in my first 5K. I remember the energy of all of the runners around me, everyone eager to move their bodies.
I realized at that moment, how fortunate I was to discover this energy. To live. To breathe. To be able to run. It is a gift. I don’t run anymore to shed pounds, but it reminds me how privileged I am to be able to move my body in a space that is all mine. I may have come to running late, but I am glad. It reminds me that when you have health, you have everything.
“To live. To breathe. To be able to run. It is a gift.”
What a wonderful and refreshing way to look at things.
“The first half mile hurts. I want to stop so bad, but I don’t.” The same can be said for so many things in life! Here’s to health and endorphins and perseverance and the daily act of just putting one foot in front of the other.
Cheers to health!
Love the tag on your shoelaces.
For me, yoga makes me appreciate being able to stretch and balance and breathe.
I started running between the birth of my children and then the Canadian winter hit and it was all over. Now with two small children and a lengthy daily commute I can’t seem to find my way back, but I think it would be a place where I could find some mental peace. Do you get that from it to? Time to think and just be alone with your thoughts?