I still remember the conversation from so long ago. Like the mid-1990s. We were standing in the foyer in our church building, listening to a young lady describe what she was planning to do. She was training to run a marathon. I remember being awestruck and eerily jealous. I was jealous because she had a typical runner's build--petite, trim, athletic--you know the type. I was the opposite, older, bigger, not-athletic--you know the type. As I listened to her talk about her training, and then later after the marathon when she described the event, I envied her excitement and her accomplishment. I knew I was not a runner and most likely would never complete a 5-k, much less a marathon.
Over the next few years my weight and my level of activity see-sawed. I went through phases of aerobic classes at the gym, became addicted to cardio kickboxing, even worked out with a personal trainer for several months. She is the person I credit for even getting me to try jogging on the treadmill. She pushed me, just a little, but I needed that push. Soon I increased from 30 second intervals to a minute and then to a whole song and then to two songs. You get the idea.
When we started fertility treatments I gained a lot of weight. I "worked out" at the gym, but didn't push myself to jog again. Eventually, after several cycles of treatments and the emotional roller coaster, I quit "working out" at all.
In 2004, when we were completing our home study autobiography for our international adoption, I wrote something crazy to one of the questions. The question asked me to list some of my life goals. I guess it had been in the recesses of my brain, but I actually put it on paper. I wrote that I would like to train for and complete a half marathon.
Now it was on paper in a social worker's file.
In July 2005 I reached my limit. I was ready to make some changes. I started going to Boot Camp classes. Yes, that was a big leap, but I was determined.
I was the largest lady in the class. They made me run on the treadmill. It was the hardest workout ever. Yes, I went back the next day. Over the next several months I started getting stronger and able to run for longer intervals on the treadmill. It didn't happen overnight. It happened in small, small intervals. It was hard. But I liked it. I liked how I felt when I was done. I liked that I was losing weight. I liked the fact I was accomplishing something. I started to like me again.
In January 2006, I completed my first half marathon. I was hooked. I wanted to keep challenging myself to see what my body would do. Over the last 2 years I have completed 8 half marathons. I am different. I'm not afraid to set Oh My Goodness Goals anymore. I have learned about myself and of what my body is capable.
15 years ago I was not a runner. 5 years ago I was not a runner. Now I am.