July 13, 2009

Just Another Mile(stone)

A few weeks ago, I challenged myself and committed in writing to run a 5K this time next year. My daughter is a runner on the highschool Cross Country team and really works hard at it.

I'm not, nor have I ever been, athletic. I trip over air, I throw like a girl, and I generally spend more time bruising myself than bulking up. When I played on our town softball team as a kid, the most running I did was to close up the coaches' windows if it looked like rain. When I was in college, I delayed my phys ed requirement until my last quarter before graduation. I thought I was being clever by taking volleyball, where I could coast and the rest of the class would pick up my slack. I wound up with Rambo the volleyball instructor. His insistence that we wouldn't pass his class without serving a volleyball overhand almost prevented me from receiving my college degree. In short, athletic has never been an adjective people use to describe me. The most athletic feature on my body is my mouth.

I work out a minimal amount, in areas where I cannot hurt anyone, i.e., alone in my basement, not at a gym where I may subject myself to ridicule or wipe out an entire aerobics class with one misstep. (It's happened). I've worked several charity 5Ks as the person who sells raffle tickets or hands out bottles of water at the finish line. I've watched young, old, large, and small people participate and always insisted I was best behind the scenes, not running with the pack.

Then it happened. I realized that for all my encouragement that my offspring "could do it", I was not walking the walk. I was only talking the talk. It was time to run something besides my mouth. I'm not excited by my proclamation that I would run with her next year, but figured if a senior citizen with two knee braces could do it (I watched him at the last 5K we attended), so could I.

Today after a few weeks of rather embarrassing attempts, I ran an entire mile without stopping. But that isn't the best part. Two days ago, I was running with my daughter (with being a rather generous term as she was quite a bit in front of me). She had rounded the turnaround and was coming back towards me and she was cheering me on. I cannot think of a better feeling.

Maybe that is what is meant by a runner's high.

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