I remember running “The Mile” in elementary school. Mile day was the most terrible, foreboding event known I could think of – worse than getting fluoride at the dentist – on par with being whipped with a belt. If given the choice between running the Mile and being grounded for an entire month, I would have chosen groundage. At least then, I could eat cookies.
That’s the kind of child that I was – never naturally inclined toward exercise. I was a little bit chubby, and a lot bit lazy, and preferred the secret, quiet world of books and music and art to anything physically taxing. My friends were all pretty, long-legged, blond girls who could run The Mile in 8 minutes or less; I pulled up the rear around minute 13. In my world, “mile day” was synonymous with “humiliation.”
I’ve always hated to run.
But this year, I made the commitment to myself to run a half-marathon – simply because it’s something that I honestly do not believe that I can do. Last time I checked, that’s agreat reason to do something.
So about 2 months ago, I started running. It started as once a week, and has moved to 2-3 times a week – and surprisingly, I’VE BEEN LOVING IT. I’ve found a group of friends who are reliable and enthusiastic, and who have made the commitment to run together frequently. They’ve seen me without makeup, completely sweaty and gross, and they still like me. They tell me stories to keep my mind occupied while we run. They don’t let me quit, even when I want to.
They are the reason that I drag my body outside in the December chill on the weekends.Them, and the prospect of a runner’s booty. Just wait. It’s coming.