*** Pardon all the Errors in this post spelling and otherwise, my computer keeps freezing and I will fix them later, even if a word is spelled wront I am sure you know what im trying to sayl.***
I have always pretended to be proud when I0 say “I am not a runner” and then proceed to giggle and mock my own inability to master the fine art of balance, coordination and determination that are all equally required when attempting to “run”, might I add. As I joked I would secretly envy those joggers on Saturday mornings; headphones in their ears, cute jogging shorts, bright top and brand new super cool running shoes. I admired the way the seemed to carelessly float on by. I was jealous of their ability to plug some music into their ears and just take off; their legs effortlessly carrying them miles and miles, seemingly without a care in the world… and they run until they were completely satisfied.
My heart longed for the peace I see in the committed, healthy, habitual runners that happen to frequent my street. You can’t miss them, there’s plenty of them, especially on Saturdays! And ALL of them look so peaceful and happy despite the extreme effort they are putting into their “run” at the moment I cross their paths. Even drenched in sweat or the elderly man hobbling down the road with weights and a water bottle… he lifts his head and smiles happily at me as if he truly, wholeheartedly is enjoying the torture he is putting himself through. I can’t possibly admit to anyone that I admire them so.. or could I?
I convinced myself that first of all, I need answers. I need to know how do they do it? I spent years convincing myself they were born that way… they had some genetic disposition that allowed them to be amazing, muscular, fit, STRONG, courageous runners….AND look amazing while doing it! I totally pale in comparison to their athletic builds and strength, I mean seriously… do you EVER see fat people “running” down the street on Saturday mornings?? I’d be panting, sweating, bright red, my t-shirt would be stuck to me in places where all my body fat I try so hard to hide would be poking out so boldly it would be impossible not to notice. With every thumping, thundering step I would feel every
ounce pound of extra, unwanted fat jiggle around like nobody’s business. I’d be panicking; wondering who was watching me look like an idiot. My feet would be killing me within minutes because nobody my size is mean to run. My hair would be a not-so-hot mess and I would panting for water before I even reached the end of the driveway. No… I am not like them… I am not a runner.
But guess what???!! …… I run.
Everyone talks about this Couch25K program for the cell phone so I thought a while back that I would try it. I began using it and LOVED their interval program. I may never reach a 5K, heck I don’t even know how many miles a 5K is… but I do know that suddenly in a few days I was pushing myself to get out there and “run”. The program starts with a slow warm-up, then intervals of running with small walking periods. Those minutes of walking were the perfect opportunity for me to catch my breath, slow my Heart Rate down and prepare myself to run again. It was SO much easier and encouraging than trying to run for 20 minutes straight and failing miserably every time. I certainly don’t look like the prettiest runner out there, I surely don’t have the right form, I definitely don’t have the same amount of strength and endurance as the others, but I do run.
It has been such an amazing transformation in my life. Not only to suddenly be doing something I never thought I could successfully do, but to actually enjoy it! It’s not easy, but there’s a thrill, a challenge, an overwhelming joy that comes from achieving a goal you never dreamed was even obtainable. Because I am a cheapskate I used the free cellphone App so two weeks into my running adventure I ran out of interval programs to do. I really didn’t want to have to buy the full app so I started doing the customized run that lets you go for however long, or whatever distance you chose. There were no intervals set…. but I impressed myself by setting my own intervals. I would run three laps around the house and walk one… or Id run to the farthest tree and then walk to the soccer goal….. wherever I was running, I would use the landmarks to set my own personal interval goals. Turns out the first time I did this, I BEAT my previous lap times!!!
From there I started challenging myself to beat my time the next time. Even though when I first started out I did A LOT of walking and very little jogging… I suddenly find myself turned around now and end up running far more than I walk. This isn’t me… is it? I push myself to new levels and discover with pure joy that I can actually accomplish the goals I set for myself. For example, last week I pushed myself and managed to go from running 1 mile ever day to suddenly running TWO miles!! I worried maybe it just wasnt going to be possible but I have accomplished that and more! I feel my body growing stronger and love knowing that although it’s a slow process, it is a process that IS moving forward and making positive changes.
I write this not to brag about my silly achievements… although I am quite proud that according to my running app I have now logged over 30 miles! But I write this to hopefully inspire you. If you are the girl driving by the joggers wishing somewhere deep down you could understand how they seem to effortlessly run and keep running until all their burdens are seemingly gone; their mind clear and passion fueled…. Maybe I can help you with my story. I by no means run pretty… I smell, I thump down the road like an elephant leading the stampede, I don’t have proper form and I constantly worry about what someone might see if they saw me “running”… yet it feels amazing. I am envigorated and thrilled when I achieve my goals and push myself to do better each time. I… Rabecca Ranaldi am running.
I know it’s silly to say, “If I can do it, you can do it too.”
But seriously now… if you tell yourself (and others) that you are not a runner… neither am I. I am also not “a runner”, But I Run…. and guess what? Not only am I doing it consistently, I also love it.
So stop telling yourself you cant and just get out and try it!