Today I ran a mile. No stopping, no walking. For most of you this would be not a very big deal at all. Most people have (or can currently) been able to run at least one mile, but not me. I have never ran a mile. For me this is a huge accomphishment, a distant dream of the past. In order to really understand why this is such a big deal, I need to take you back in time.
It was fourth grade. Mr. Finny, the elementary school P.E teacher announces that it is "mile week". The idea is that on Monday, everyone ran a mile. If you didn't run it in under 10 minutes, you ran it also on Tuesday, same on Wednesday... ect.. I was one of the only kids who was still running a mile on Friday. I remember trying so hard, running as fast as I could, but I could never do it without walking. I wasn't good enough. This was my first experience running.
It didn't get better from there. Middle school was full of P.E failures and discouragement. By the time I got to high school I had convinced myself that I suck at anything physical. Especially running. Mrs. Fry, my well intentioned P.E. teacher, had us run every Friday. Her thing was that all we had to do was "stay in front of her" in order to receive credit. We would start the run, and I started falling behind, until I could hear her right behind me saying "dont let me pass you!" Of course, she always would. Again, I fell behind, and eventually just refused to even try.
My whole life I have watched those athletic people in awe. Do they know how lucky they are? But, I moved on and got comfortable with the idea that I really do suck at anything physical.
Fast forward to this past September. I decided to make another attempt. This time, focusing on fitness. I got my butt to the gym and have tried running everyday. Every run, so many thoughts of doubt and failure race through my mind, but I kept going. I try everyday to stay positive and convince myself that maybe I can.
Today, I got on the treadmill and faced my doubt and failure in the face. I ran. I ran, and I didnt die. I ran, and it hurt, but I could breath. The muscles I have been growing, carried me. My heart didn't pound out of my chest. I ran a whole mile. 14 minutes straight no stopping. While I ran I imagined that little 4th grade girl trying so hard. I imagined that 16 year old Mimi kicking the dirt on the track and watching those "athletic kids" effortlessly glide across the track. I said in my head. "I can do this. I can do this...". Why not me?
No joke, when the mile was over I literally cried right there on the treadmill. Today I proved to myself that maybe running is hard for me, but maybe I dont suck so bad. Maybe... I can do this.
Since I started running in September I have said I can do this, but today was the first day I really believed it.
|Special thanks to my friend Leslie- who was right beside me pushing me on!!!!|