“Runners are so weird.”
This is my husband’s take on running, but I can’t blame him. Pretty much the only exposure he has had to more than one runner (me) is thousands of runners at a race. And then, even I think runners are weird!
So why did a chose running as my preferred form of exercise? Well, it wasn’t my first choice, I can tell you that much! When I was a kid, soccer was my thing. Like, really my thing. I played on an all boys team vs. all boys, before girls really played soccer. Wait it gets better.... I was on the first ever all girls township team. We called ourselves The Purple People Eaters, which turned out to be an extremely accurate name. Have you ever seen a purple person? Me neither. We played all boys teams all season and got our asses handed to us at every game! It was a “character-building” experience.
The next season there were enough girls to have an all girls league. I don’t remember how our team did, but I do remember that we had all the great players on our team. I also remember always wanting to play defense (it’s the position that requires the least amount of running, except goalie - which I also played). But it wasn’t always that great. Sometimes I got stuck playing midfield. If you need clarification on this death sentence, here ya go: goalie waits for the ball to come to her; defender waits for the ball to come to her, and occasionally runs a short distance to wail the ball way out of goal-scoring range. The forward scores the goals and gets all the glory. The forward runs while in scoring position but hangs back when the other team is trying to score.
Finally, the midfielder. The midfielder is like the middle-man between the forward and the defense - back and forth. Back and forth. All. Game. Long. The midfielder rarely scores a goal and rarely makes a big save. It’s just a heck of a lot of running on a small green rectangle. Like I said, a death sentence.
When I was in high school I got into track & field. I wasn’t fast, but I ran the 100m and 300m hurdles. I wasn’t good. My math teacher was the cross country coach and she tried to get me to join the team, but the thought of running a 3 mile race, and more in training scared me. I passed.
I honestly cannot remember what made me start running for fun, but I remember running with friends at MSU, my freshman year of college. I ran my first full marathon (26.2 miles) in 2003 - the San Diego Rock n’ Roll Marathon. I was hooked. I’ve run a total of 4 full marathons and I’ve lost count on half marathons (13.1 miles). I’ve run tons of other distances well over 3 miles and I still love running.
If I could go back in time, I would have skipped track and field and gone with cross country instead. Hindsight is 20/20, but hey that’s life. I always say that if I could go back to high school, knowing what I know now, I would totally rule that place! But atlas I can’t and you know what? I’m probably better off, because high school was hard. And just like playing on an all girls team vs all boys, it was a exercise in character building... Lucky me! In the end, you live and learn, and you become a better person for it! So, don’t shy away from the challenges - they will make you a stronger person… even if it makes you one of the “weird” ones!
I’d love to hear what your “thing” is! Running, down-hill skiing, Netflix? Comment below.
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