A reader recently asked me to explain how I started running.
Believe it or not, I used to hate running. Absolutely hated it. I had to keep in shape for field hockey, the sport I played for 11 years and played in college.
My brother-in-law still makes fun of me, because he remembers so clearly the time I cried when my mom made me run a mile with him and my sister to train for field hockey.
And, as a prime example of how really hard work can get you somewhere, after stupid hard training all through middle and high school, I was able to run a mile in 6:00 flat.
(Don’t be too impressed.. that was sophomore year of high school, and I’m pretty positive I couldn’t do it now if I tried.)
Anyway, my high school field hockey team was pretty cut-throat. For conditioning alone, we would run a minimum of a 2-mile loop on the reg.
We all hated it. I would be anxious all day through classes about my running performance. I would stress all day about what I was eating so I could run well later. I couldn’t run to certain music. I’d hyperventilate if I felt like my running performance wasn’t good enough to keep my position on the field. I would think way too much about it.
After I gave up my college field hockey career for an internship with NASCAR in college, I decided I was done running for a nice long time.
Once I started to feel like a trash can who didn’t remember what it felt like to sweat, I started meandering to the school gym for some leisurely elliptical sessions.
That was when I discovered how awesome it feels to work out for me. For over a decade, I had worked out because I had to. Because someone else was telling me what I needed to do.
I realized how much I love being able to do what I want.
So, little by little, I started to want to push myself more and more. I would hit the tread and see how long I could go before needing to switch to the treadmill. I started out with half a mile, built up to 1 mile, and soon, I was at 3 already.
Finally, I was a runner again. On my own accord (as my lawyer friends would say, “sua sponte” ;)).
A year or two later, my little running twin entered my life and tried to convince me to run a half marathon with her. I scoffed, rolled my eyes, and I told her there was no way I could run for 13.1 miles.
Three months later, guess where I found myself?
I owe those two kids behind me big. I would have never even attempted a half marathon.
. . . or four.
And now? I love running. Maybe it’s due to being put through the ringer as a kid, but I don’t feel complete unless I’m giving myself a kick in the butt to push myself.
“A marathon? I can do that.”
I think I know why I finally love it – I’m doing it for me.
So, don’t tell me you can’t run. It’s not true. You just have to want to run.
And this is the story I’m going to tell all my middle school field hockey players next week as I’m introduced as head coach and I make them run my marathon training with me so I can kill two birds with one stone during practice.
I’m going to be the best coach ever.
P.S. If you haven’t entered yet, the B.I.C. Bands giveaway is still going on.
To enter to win my favorite fitness accessory, click here.