I have always had the desire to exercise. If you know me, you know I look like a fit person, and most of the time I am. But I believe a book should not be judged by its cover, and just because someone looks a certain way, doesn’t mean they don’t have to put the effort in or doesn’t mean they shouldn’t set goals for themselves. I’ve heard it plenty of times, “Oh, you are so skinny, you don’t have to worry.” And while, yes, my metabolism is different, I still care about feeling good, healthy and fit.
I played little league everything as a kid: I have a soccer trophy that I have no recollection of earning, was a cheerleader, softball player and even tried basketball. But none were really my strong suit. And then, in 6th grade, my gym teacher started a running club. Sounds like punishment for an athlete of any other sport, but I liked it.
I am thankful that running stuck for me. It’s one of the few competitive activities that you can do beyond the prime of your teenage/young adult years. In fact, I know many adults who are competitive into their 50’s & 60’s.
I didn’t run on a school team beyond high school, but I did start running on my own and competing in 5Ks, 10Ks and half marathons (and one marathon so far). What did become a challenge was getting into a running routine on my own. When you are on a team, you have a set practice time and a coach to keep you accountable. When you run on your own, you have to create the discipline and accountability yourself. Thankfully, I was given tools to help me.
Today, 12 years after I became a “Just for Fun” runner, I still struggle with the routine. I have to be training for the “next race”, even though I know how good it feels just to get out there and run.
Currently, my husband and I are training for our 2nd race in two months. For me, that has been the key motivator to keep going. Now I am ready to sign up for a race in the spring and just begin to make a habit of it. It also helps to have an older sister & friends who runs races regularly. We have chatted about signing up for races together. As an adult, it becomes an opportunity to travel, spend time with people I love and participate in something that is good for my health.
I am done with training for a race, running it and then taking a month or two off and having to start over again. I am not old, but it’s getting harder for me body to keep starting over. It’s time for me to get fit and stay fit.