This morning I got out on a very early and rather nice 8 mile run under the stars. While out I came up to a route I used to "run" when I started on my journey to a healthy life. Now mind you, I was about 100lbs heavier and my "run" at that time could probably be considered a fast walk...In the quiet of the morning I spent time reflecting on just how much of a battle running was for me when I started. I hated it. It hurt. It was hard. My lungs would burn. But for some sick, strange, twisted reason-I liked it and I wanted to be a runner. A real runner.
Today I recalled the first time I ran this particular 1.5 mile stretch of road. How difficult it was but how happy it made me that I did it. I felt like stopping a bunch of times but I remember thinking "just one more telephone pole" and how I would break it down into pieces. Then when I got the turn-around point I would ask myself "why quit now? just keep going". Each step was a battle and a triumph.
I still feel that way some days-that the next step takes thought and planning. My runs may be longer in distance and a bit faster these days but my determination has not wavered, it has only grown stronger. I am more comfortable pushing myself-mentally and physically. But I would say my perspective on running certainly has changed...I really do love it and I guess I can call myself a "real" runner now (whatever that means!)
Running gives me center. It gives me time to me and time to think and plan. It brings me joy. I run against the best competition too-Myself. I can always strive for better. I can go longer. I can go faster. I can always find ways to be better. I guess that is another thing I love about running. It's not about beating Jane or John Doe. It's not about winning the race. It's about beating ME. And making ME better.
What started out simply as a way to burn calories to lose weight has become something so much more to me. From running I discovered a lot about myself and others around me. I have met some amazing people.
So running this same road today 100lbs lighter I thought back to those days with a smile. I gave myself a pat on the back for reaching the goals I set for myself in the Fall of 2008 and I gave myself a kick in the butt to reach the goals I have set for Fall 2010.
Happy running :)