This was true even as a child. I have never actually been someone who particularly liked being active at all. My childhood memories are littered with examples of adults encouraging me to be active when all I wanted to do was sit and read. I’m sure it didn’t help that my sister loved everything active. She was the kid who wanted to be running around and I was the book worm. My parents pushed me outside with her when she wanted to play. They signed me up for basketball when she wanted to join. I was the girl who exaggerated the smallest ailment to get out of gym. I was the kid who didn’t love those elementary school race day or that stupid Participant ribbon that I always received.
I am not a runner.
It certainly isn’t for lack of trying. In high school Phys Ed, we had to complete a running objective. We needed to run continuously for 20 minutes in order to pass. Thankfully, all throughout this section, the gym teacher taught us how to increase our endurance so that we could fulfill this requirement. And I did it. I ran for 20 continuous minutes. I passed the module.
And then I stopped running.
…Until I joined a gym a few months before my wedding. Treadmill running was a breath of fresh air for me. It removed so much of what I hated about running. I wouldn’t be pounded by rain or overheated by the sun or feel the painful freezing air ripping through my lungs. I could avoid hills, cracks in the sidewalk and dog poo. I could maintain a steady, and not too difficult pace. I could easily time myself. And I could do it all while watching television.
Unfortunately, running on a treadmill requires an actual trip to the gym. And I wasn’t so good at consistently getting there. Eventually my husband asked me if it was worth paying for the membership.
But it was okay. Because I am not a runner.
So I even surprised myself when on May 18th, I tweeted this:
I had just started watching what I was eating again and I was thinking of ways to increase my activity. But running?
I am not a runner.
Quite honestly, when I wrote that tweet, I never expected myself to start running. Later that night, when I asked for running app suggestions, I never expected myself to complete a running program. Perhaps I’d try once or twice. Perhaps I’d get one week under my belt. But I was probably just going to quit. I would never be able to run continuously for any amount of time. No way, no how would this actually become an accomplishment.
I am not a runner.
But I started. I downloaded a Couch to 5k app called Get Running and on May 20th, I tied up my sneakers and went out the door for the first time. I ran for 1 minute eight times, allowing myself a minute and a half walk between each. I did it. I ran.
And I didn’t stop.
I have realized that when we start a weight loss journey, we often have a long-term goal in mind. We picture ourselves at a target weight. But losing weight is a long process. And without having mini-milestones to hit along the way, it can get discouraging. Running provides me with the continual sense of accomplishment that I need to keep going. Each day after I finish my run, I know I have done something that I never thought I would do. I know that I have accomplished something huge.
My accomplishments started piling up. On June 10th I ran for five continuous minutes. On June 20th, I matched my high school accomplishment and ran for twenty continuous minutes. And on June 25th I ran longer than I have ever run in my entire life. I ran for 25 minutes.
Currently I am running for thirty-five minutes and I am hitting the 5k mark every time.
I seriously never imagined myself doing this. I never believed I could do this.
But I took it one step at a time.
And now there is no doubt about it.
I am a runner.
And I love it.