For a long time I secretly read my husband's Runner's World magazine. I knew I was not worthy as I am not a runner. But I really like this magazine. It is funny and informative and often very inspirational. And I guess I have to admit that I really wished I was part of the club. I've always felt that people who run really know how to live, that they are experiencing life to its fullest. Like those old ladies who take a swim in the lake every morning. They seem like they know the secret of life.
One day I broke my silence when I mentioned that I liked an article Kristin Armstrong wrote. My husband kidded that I wasn't allowed to read his magazine. I'm sure this was well before he completed the Ironman race. As someone who has always been a runner, he doesn't really understand why I am not.
And then I realized that I don't really know why I'm not a runner either. Is it that I am afraid I can't do it? Or is it my aversion to athletic competition? I have terrible, humiliating memories from school when I could barely run the mile. I've never been fat. I've always been able to stay in relatively good shape by walking and doing my workout videos. And maybe just from decent genes.
But it turns out that as I am approaching 40 years old, those things are not enough. I should be able to run a 5K and not feel like I am going to get sick. I want to have a healthy heart, not just look OK in a swim suit. And, truth be told, I want to do these things that I've always said I couldn't. Because life is what you decide it is going to be. I don't have to be the nonathletic girl of my youth. I can be whatever I want! Isn't this what we are always telling our kids - that they can be anything they want to be? Shouldn't we be the good example?
Hence the Learn to Run class that I started last week. I have reservations about this. It is a little too much of me being in Matt's world. I think it is perfectly acceptable (and maybe wise) to keep separate hobbies in marriage. During my twenties I made the mistake more than once of attempting to do some new sport so that I could keep up with a boyfriend. Those that know me may remember when I made a total ass out of myself at the Stan Smith tennis academy in Hilton Head by showing up the first day with my ten year old racket and no tennis experience. (Show me your serve. What serve?) Or when I spent a fortune on a cool mountain bike and then could barely walk after I rode 30 miles the first day from DC to Mt. Vernon and back.
But I went through with the running class. I mean how bad could it be, really? The first day was fine. It was crowded. When I arrived there were people still signing up. After I quickly looked around to see if I knew anyone, I sat down with some ladies that looked like they could be around my age and ability. Turns out that a lot of the people came in groups. I am pretty good at making friends and joining in so I didn't mind the small talk introductions. We set out for our run which consisted of a 5 minute walking warm-up, then 1 minute of running, followed by 4 minutes of walking, then repeating the run and walking several times. It was hard not to feel like you were in gym class when the instructor blew the whistle. After a few repetitions I ended up in the middle of the pack with two other woman. I was happy not to be the slowest! When we came to the end (2 miles, maybe more?) the one woman said, "That's it? That was tolerable." I agreed completely.
The next day I was surprised that my feet, butt and shins hurt. I've been told that this is normal. I did get a new pair of shoes today so that I will be ready for class. And here's the proof that it all makes sense: My husband got his copy of Runner's World yesterday and tossed it to me. "Here's your magazine," he said. I took a look at it and flipped to the article about 101 kicks in the butt to get you motivated. Guess what number 1 is?
Start a blog.