I hate running! A common thought among beginners and even those that have been running for years. It's hard. Some days a mile feels impossible.
But you don't quit. You keep pushing, find the energy to take the next step, and finish your run. And it's an amazing feeling that is all your own.
Growing up, I was always around fitness. If I got up early, I would find my mom in our basement, working out to recorded episodes of classic 80's workout TV. I watched my mom teach aerobics while I ate my Happy Meal and played in the kids' room at our local fitness center. I even sometimes joined in her summer afternoon water aerobics class, splashing around to Calloway's "I Wanna Be Rich" ( you know you love it).
But growing up, my family wasn't runners. We played tennis, and instead of running cross country or track, I played on the high school tennis team.
I didn't start routinely running until after college, after gaining the "first year of real work, along with a commute" 15 pounds, and finding that I needed an efficient way to get in, and stay in shape. I had run a few 5k's, and maybe a mile or so on the treadmill once a week, but I didn't consider myself a runner, and definitely didn't think I had the physical makeup of a distance runner. I'm shorter, with an stockier athletic build, not long, lean muscles that seem so perfect for running miles and miles. But I started slowly, walking a mile to warm up, and then running a mile or two, and walking again as a cool down. I found a 6 mile running trail nearby, 3 out, 3 in, and fell in love with it. Most days I would walk at least half of the 6 miles, but when I was feeling really great I would run 4 or 5. The first day that I ran all 6 miles I remember feeling invincible. I think this is when my addiction began.
But I'm not saying I'm always jumping out of my pants, barely able to contain my enthusiasm to run. You've heard of Catholic guilt? Well, I've got it, but in a slightly different form. On days that I'm exhausted and would rather pour myself a delicious beverage and sip it slowly, my mom's voice is inside my head: "Get out there. You'll feel better when you're done!" Surprisingly, 9 times out of 10, I do. And to that 10th time, I say, " Pour me another glass, I've earned it!"