My husband is still somewhat in shock, I think. He just came home from his conference and found out that I signed up for a second 5k race. He is a lifelong athlete but has never seen me do much exercise that wasn't USEFUL, like digging and weeding by hand. Me, running just to run? He can't wrap his mind around it, I think.
I told him that I read in a New York Times article that older women actually ran faster times than younger women, which is the opposite of what happens with men. Middle aged women gave a few reasons, one of which is EXACTLY the reason I am on fire myself: they suddenly find out they are capable of doing something they never thought they could.
When I went to school, even the healthy girls had to be on girl's teams, playing girl's sports - like field hockey in those stupid plaid skirts. There were huge differences in the amount of time and effort put into coaching and promoting the different sex teams, of course.
And if you were unhealthy like me, you didn't even go to a real gym class. MY gym class was held inside a gym, but we stuffed envelopes for the school or were just told to do whatever we felt like because it was a free hour. I was told to puff on my inhalant, watch my heart... oh no, don't get too hot!
Boys, on the other hand, are expected to be athletic. If their parents carefully raise their children, so both sexes have access to both "genders" of toys, their daycare teachers and friends will undo this soon enough. My son was sure he would be an athlete before he was three years old. He is still physically active and has never been heavy. Why should he ever have any kind of epiphany that he could run? No one ever insinuated he couldn't. My daughter, on the other hand, was sure she was a brainiac bookworm by the age of three (yes, she was reading). She is still heavy today, 18 years later.
So here I am, 47 years old, trying new things because I am chubby and curious and because I am tired of thinking I can't do this and that. When I finally found something I could do, it really was an epiphany. I can do this. And I am going to be good, whatever that "good" happens to be for someone with my health. I fully intend to test myself a bit at a time, so I stretch my boundaries. Considering I ran zero minute miles before (because I never started!), every race I complete will be a good race. But I want to know what I can do.
The article I referenced:
And this blog is just a lot of fun: