Thursday, January 31, 2013
I left a comment on a community page today entitled "What keeps you motivated to run?" Then, during my run today, I decided I had a lot more to say on the subject.
See, a year ago, I would have BLOWN right past that comment page. I was a NON-runner. I did not run, and I did not understand people who did run. Weirdos.
A year ago, I thought running was about the best way to torture someone. I would see the occasional psychotic out in 20 degree weather in the snow in head to tow spandex, and I would shake my head and wonder what that person's mother had done to them to make them that way.
On any occasion when I HAD to run (gym class, runaway toddler) I felt awful, and ridiculous. My face got red, my shorts bunched up, and I looked about as graceful as someone who only runs when they are being chased.
Now, I still look terrible when I run. My kids call me the deranged tomato, because my face turns BRIGHT red. My shorts still bunch up. And I have to wear these bulky shoes with extra support on the arch because I over-pronate. But now when I run, I don't care. I FEEL COOL.
And this is what I want to share with you. If I can learn to love running - ANYONE can learn to love running. I'm not saying running is for everyone. I'm saying that if you've never really given it a chance because you think you could never be one of "those" people, you should drop your preconceived notion of yourself and give it a try. Because running saved me.
I have chronic depression. It's mixed up in my weight issues, and has been a cloud over me and my family for as long as I can remember. I'm a lucky lady, because my poor husband and my little boys love me even though sometimes Mommy couldn't get out of bed. I've been on modication for years, but I never really started to feel better until I started a C25K program and re-discovered endorphins.
The first 2 weeks sucked. I hated running. (If you could call it running. Shuffling is a more appropriate label.) It was the WORST. But I did it anyway. The third week, I was almost home, and a really good song came on my ipod, so I kept on shuffling right past my house. And then another song came on, and I kept running. That was the day I changed my mind about running.
I put my runs on the family calendar so everybody in the family could see them and expected me to put on my sneakers that day. I checked them off one by one. I signed up to run a 5K. And then another. And then I signed up to run a half-marathon this summer. I started Jeff Galloway's training schedule, and I AMAZED myself when I ran 8 miles. 8 miles. 6 months before that I couldn't even run ONE mile.
I don't run fast, but I run. And because I run, I can get out of bed every day. Most days I'm actually smiling. I'm still on medication, but I FEEL better than I have in years. I look forward to running. If I don't run for 3 days, I start to feel edgy and fidgety.
So, I guess THIS is what keeps me motivated to run. ME. I keep me motivated to run. Nobody and nothing else in the world can do it for me. Every foot I put in front of the other is a choice I make.
And music helps. And cute running shoes. And the funny looks people give you when they drive past you as you run in 20 degree weather in head to toe spandex. :)