I never picture myself as a runner…

I have been into sports since I was a kid. Even being homeschooled my mom still found a way for my brother and I to be involved. In elementary/middle school we were involved with a homeschoolers program where we could run, throw and do jumping events much like a mini-olympics. I was always number one in softball throw as well as the 50 yard dash. Came in 2nd or 3rd for long jump and even got 1st place in hurdles once.

In high school, I swam, played tennis, played a year of basketball and was a thrower on the track and field team. Even doing all those, I hated running. We ran around the school. We ran around the track. Hell some days I said f*ck them and I walked. Now I will say, my first year in track and field I found out (the hard way) that I had exercise induced asthma but once I had an inhaler I still hated running. When they did running or they were busting their asses doing bleachers…yup…i was walking gingerly around the track. Had I known then what I know now, I could have been a much better thrower. Problem was: I was already the best overall female thrower on the team so I didnt care. Probably didn’t help that I was overweight but no excuse even still.

Fast forward and after several failed attempts at weight loss I finally got to where I wanted to be. It wasn’t until summer 2017 that I tried my hand at running. Yup. Still hated it. But I stuck with it and started off slow. At first only around a mile and a half and that was a 30 minute struggle. Then 2 miles then 3 then 3.5 to the point where I could run non-stop even on the most graded hills. My two-mile run went from being over 20 minutes to being 16 minutes (as of today) and I finally told myself, “I’m a runner.” For the longest time I told myself I wasn’t because it was my way of just skating through my two miles without really trying. Today though, I realized that without hard work I can’t be the best version of myself. So before I set out for my run I chose a great song that would keep me motivated (‘LL Cool J- shut em down) and ran my heart out. Then Break ya Neck by Busta Rhymes came on so I kept running. The final stretch I put on There’s No Easy Way out (from Rocky IV)and told myself I would be home before the song was over…

As usual, when I got to the end of my alley and as I got into my usual sprint I found my legs were so sore that ask was sprinting I was groaning because my legs hurt so bad. When I made it to my driveway – normally I pace to cool down – today I was so worn out I had to resist just falling over lol but when I looked at my phone is read 1 minute walking (from stopping to change songs) and 16 minutes running!! 16 minutes! That’s an 8-minute mile WITH hills and uneven ground. Not on a track or a treadmill! It was then that I told myself, “I AM a runner!”

Don’t let something that seems hard stop you from reaching above and beyond what you think you can do. Just do it!

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