Yesterday I ran a full mile without stopping. Yes, I know that most people can do that no problem...but that's not me. I've always had pretty terrible endurance and when I had scoliosis my spine permanently damaged some of my bronchial tubes. Point being, I was never a good long distance runner. But, I've always wanted to be. It always sounded so alluring to run for pleasure and for a workout. As of a few weeks ago, I began my "training". I started really small and just went around the block, I didn't even make it all the way without stopping for a few days.
On Thursday, I talked my family into coming running with me at the local middle school track. With my running playlist going, I made it a whole mile. As I was running, I started thinking about all of the memories I had in this exact spot. For gym in 6th and 7th grade we would troop down and have to run/walk for the whole class. I hated it. It was cold and damp and I could never keep up with the crowd.
As my feet slapped the gravel, I thought of my little 11 year old self, feeling out of place and intimidated by the new school environment, about to undergo a serious life event. I thought of my slow walking and running pace on the very inside edge of the track, with my hands stuffed in my Old Navy kids fleece sweatshirt pocket that I put on over my gym shirt. I ran that mile for her, for me, for us.
If I put my mind to something, if I push myself just a little harder, than I'm realizing I can accomplish things I'd never anticipated. I can't tell you how many times I've told people, "I'm not a runner" or "I have no endurance or stamina". I may not be a good runner but I think now I can say I am a runner. I may never win a marathon or even a 5k but I can still aspire to participate. I don't need to win the race, I just want to run them.
And I think I'll always remember my younger self when I do.