When I first started my Spark journey, my intro on my Spark Page stated that I wasn't usually one to share much about myself. Considering we've discussed my backfield being in motion (or not, as the case may be!) I'd say I've gotten beyond that.
I like to say that I'm shy by nature. I'm also lacking in self-confidence. I'm uncomfortable in new situations. I'm awkward when meeting new people. I get tongue tied and blather on inanely. I built a wall around myself with my fat and kept the word away. Without being conscious of it, I had built a safe cocoon.
Now, it feels like a straight jacket, and I want out.
I overcame a fear this morning, and it resulted in something that still has me jazzed.
I blogged not long ago about being lonely and wondering if I'd ever find someone to run with. Karen42Boys pointed out, astutely, that if I really want someone to run with, I'm going to have to go out and find them.
What? You mean a running partner isn't going to come to my house and stand next to me, running in place, in my basement, while I'm on the treadmill? Pfft, what's the point then??
Not long after reading Karen's brilliant comment (why hadn't that occurred to me before, I can't say) I read in a newsletter that the Galloway training group would be having three free runs, the first being this Saturday at the Foot Traffic Race Event Expo.
What? A running group comprised of people who use the run/walk/run method in races, from 5Ks to Marathons? Dude, I'm SO totally there!
Only, it was 18 degrees this morning, and not likely to warm up above 35 before 9:30 a.m. I've never run in that kind of cold. 32-35 has been the coldest so far. I have layers. I have the right clothing. I have the right shoes.
I also have fears of putting myself out there in a brand new situation with people I don't know. What if no one talks to me? What if I get left behind? What if I'm too slow? What if they tell me I can't go back? What if they tell me I should stick to walking? What if, what if, WHAT IF????
What if I don't go? I'll regret it.
What if I don't go, and don't find out when the next free runs are? I'll regret it.
What if I don't go, stick to running by myself, and lose my Spark, my need to conquer the fat and fear and doubt? I'll regret it.
I do NOT regret it. I went.
I went, and there were a TON of people in the little store, in the tent outside, milling in and out, dressed in running gear, street clothes, all manner of people. Some people were just getting back from a run. No one noticed me, which was a good thing. There was no pointing and snickering behind hands (as if, I really need to get a grip, don't I?) One gentleman, manning a table in the outside tent, spoke and smiled, asking how I was holding up in the cold. A simple kindness that meant a lot.
So I milled around inside, eavesdropping (I can't speak to someone I don't know first, let's not push the boundaries of sanity here!) and heard people talking about run/walk/run, and stalked them after that, until they moved outside.
I followed the group, and there were about 20 people or so. They explained the route, the interval of 1 min run/1 min walk, and we set off. I put myself at the back of the pack, as per usual, and ran behind a pair of young ladies. The gap between us and the main group grew, until I was dogging the girls' heels a bit too much and managed to weave my way past. I was on my own then, between the main pack and the slow pack. There was a coach at the front of the run, and another coach at the back of the run, so no one would get left behind.
I set my timer, and ran my intervals, and noticed a lady in the back of the front pack drop back behind and slow down. I caught up with her, and we started talking and walking and running together.
It was Katherine, THE Kathy from the Hood to Coast movie. Dude, I got to run/walk/run with her! Seriously, this amazing woman who has run marathons and Hood to Coast and died at Myst and was revived and survived and kept on going after her recovery - this is the woman I met and talked with and laughed with and RAN with.
The route was 2.2 miles. I mapped it on my Fitness tracker. Today is supposed to be my 5 mile run day. I would not trade a solitary continuous 5 mile run for that amazing 2.2 mile group run and another 2.8 mile run later today. Not for anything.
The next Galloway run is next Saturday, meeting up at OMSI. I think it'll be warmer then LOL I hope. Doesn't matter though. Nothing short of a medical emergency will keep me away. I'm there. I'm SO there it's ridiculous.
What was I so scared of? Right now, I couldn't tell you. I've found my running family - yes, Kathy and I were the last runners to make it back to Foot Traffic. That's ok - we agreed we'll run together next week, and I can't wait.
***Edited to add***
For those of you not familiar with Hood to Coast and my love-bordering-on-obsession with the event and movie, here's a link to the movie's trailer.