When I took inventory of my life for 2010 and shared it with you, there's something I didn't tell you. I hope you can forgive me. I didn't intentionally leave it out, and it was really firmly planned then. However, it's something I think you should all know about.
See, I have trouble labeling myself as athletic or fit. For the first 26 years of my life, I loathed running ("I only run when chased," I said.) and couldn't really ride a bike. I worked out to keep my weight in check, but I hadn't yet found a form of cardio that I enjoyed. Yoga was the only form of exercise I liked then.
In the last two years, much has changed. I rode 85 miles in one day on my road bike, became a yoga teacher, did 10 "boy-style" pushups, conquered my fear of headstands, and ran my first 5K, a second 5K and my first 10K.
Though I work out six or seven days a week, run regularly and teach yoga to others, I have never really considered myself to be an athlete--or a runner.
This new challenge I've set for myself will change that.
I am training for my first half-marathon.
I started training two weekends ago for the Cincinnati Flying Pig Half Marathon on May 2. I'm running with a few friends and training at a running store here in Cincinnati called the Running Spot.
Like so many of you, I have a weight-loss story (another tale for another time). I lost 40 pounds five years ago and have kept it off. But long before that, I was a skinny bookworm of a kid who wore skirts to get out of gym class, cried when her mom tried to sign her up for T-ball and thought being skinny was more important than being strong.
When I look in the mirror these days, that girl is long gone. In her place is a woman who filled out a bit, signs herself up for fitness challenges and built some muscles.
I have plenty of friends who grew up being active. Though I danced as a young child and was always busy and skinny, I preferred stationary activities: reading, cooking, talking on the phone. Walking for 30 to 45 minutes a few times a week was my only form of cardio.
I was clumsy, self-conscious and hesitant to try new things.
It's no wonder I have trouble labeling myself as athletic or fit today. But I am. I can't run a six-minute mile, I've never competed in anything physical except for dance competitions, and I still don't enjoy organized sports. But I can keep running--and trying.
I'm not making excuses. I cleared those hurdles, and I'm looking forward to this challenge. I don't have a goal in mind, other than to finish.
And starting now, with this confession, I proudly will call myself a runner.
(I have to end this blog by thanking Coach Nancy, who encouraged me to sign up for my first 5K, who hugged me after I crossed the finish line and assured me I was a runner. Without her loving push, I wouldn't have signed up for that first race.)
Is there a goal you've been apprehensive to share with others? What was it?