I’ve never been a runner. I’ve never thought of myself as a runner and I never wanted to run. I was a wrestler. I was a skier. I was a skateboarder. I was never a runner but in eleventh grade I was convinced to train for our school’s triathlon. It was a 5 mile bike, 5 mile run and 500 yard swim. My training consisted of jogging/walking for 45 minutes twice a week during our phys-ed, but it got me mostly in shape after having dropped wrestling because of bum shoulders. You read that right shoulderS.
I can’t say I was in great shape. I think it took me 3 hours to complete the whole thing but I finished and that was a lot more than most the student body could say. That night was prom and I had such a headache from dehydration that I just went to sleep at the after party right in the middle of everyone.
The next week I was hanging out with a friend and we stopped by our local convenience store. We were hanging out outside and somehow a girl who was too young to be driving was out with her parents 69 Caddy. She was backing out of the parking space next to us and managed to pin my leg between her front bumper and the Bondoed rear corner panel of my friends CJ-7. Thank God for the Bondo as I was able to twist my leg free and the Caddy slipped off my leg and into the back of my friends Jeep. My leg swelled up like a big balloon but I didn’t call the cops and I didn’t have anyone look at my leg. Now 17 years later I still have numb spot and you can still feel the chip in the bone.
For a long time I used that as an excuse and then I just stopped worrying about exercise all together until last year. At the begining of 2009 I saw the ad for the Peachtree road race and decided I wanted to run it. So I went and bought a pair of running shoes from my local running store. They also sold me some socks. I left the store, sent my application via snail mail and started running.
Then a few weeks later I receive a note saying that my entry was too late and had been denied. So I stopped running, as it was starting to get warm. Then in the fall just before my son got here I decided to start running again. So I got my self up to running 1 mile and I did that a total of six times before my son arrived last October. Then I stopped running when my son arrived for about six weeks.
After six weeks I saw a friend of mine tweet about running a half marathon and I thought, now that’s a challenge that I can take on. So I started running with him trying to train for the 1/2 marathon in March. This was late November or early December. I got up to running six miles or so before I realized that I just didn’t have the time required to train. At least without my wife’s agreement I didn’t have the time. So I took a few weeks off.
When I started running again it was like I was starting over, but it didn’t take near as long to get up to running consistently again and I was beginning to enjoy running. I’ve finally covered enough distance that my shoes are beginning to show the wear and I have worn holes through my socks. I have also had to purchase new inserts for the shoes because I had some weird stuff going on in my feet. So now after a life time of hating running, after a year and a half I find my self thinking about needing to replace my running shoes and wondering if I really should get a treadmill for the times I can’t leave the house. For the first time in my life I don’t even doubt if I’ll use it. I know I will, and I hate running on treadmills. But you know what, somewhere along the way I realized something, I love running. So I ask you, am I a runner?
P.S. If you don’t understand how anyone can love running then you haven’t done it for a long enough period of time. Just keep trying and practicing and you will eventually get the runners high. It’s a different experience but anyone can get it, if I can get it. I’m a 255lb guy who should weigh about 190.
(photo credit: Â© Nadezhda Bolotina – Fotolia.com)