I've never been a runner.
I have very vivid memories from my childhood that pretty much ruined running for me. My earliest is in 6th grade when we had to sprint across the soccer field for play day in front of TONS of kids and parents. I was so nervous because I knew I was slow. Palms sweating, pit in my stomach, I ran as fast as my short legs could take me across that field and realized about halfway through that I was dead last. And not by a nose. It took me a good 15 or 20 seconds after everyone else was across the finish line for me to make it. I was humiliated and vowed that I'd never run again.
Of course I had to run many more times throughout junior high and high school with equal measure of embarrassment. I distinctly remember my high school gym class teacher lining everyone up to run a mile. Most girls got pretty good times, between 7 and 9 minutes. 12 1/2 minutes later, here I was stumbling through my last lap. I despised running. I associated it with humiliation, embarrassment, and failure.
So why, years later, did I pick up running?
I've always been jealous of runners. I've always wanted to call myself a runner. It was something that most of my friends were naturally good at and it really got under my skin that I was not one of them. I don't like to fail. I always imagined myself picking up running at some point in my life just to prove to myself that I could do it, but whenever I tried I always failed.
I came across the Couch to 5k program several years ago and thought it would be a good way to ease into running. I guess there was just a perfect storm of events 9 weeks ago that led me to start that program. I really wanted to challenge myself. So I began and stuck with the program diligently. I gradually noticed, even though I was very slow, that I could jog for longer each week without feeling like I was going to die.
And this morning, I can't even believe I'm typing this out, I ran for 50 minutes straight! Even at my slow pace, I ran a full 5k. That's 3.1 miles!
I don't know if I will run the rest of my life, but I like to think that I will. Aside from being a fabulous workout, it proved to me that I can meet a challenge head on and succeed. And that is worth more than I can say.