Over the last few years, I've become a runner.
At first, it was being forced into running a mile-and-a-half by G. the Meanie, no walking, no stopping. I truly hated him in that moment. I had never run more than maybe half a mile in my life, I simply loathed the whole process.
I realized I had a wall to break through, one involving shin splints and motivation. I just had to get out there and run, in order for my legs to take to doing it regularly without screaming from the effort. And somehow, somewhere along the line, I just got there. I could run without wanting to cut my legs off.
In the last six months, my running has suffered as I've gotten used to a new schedule with my job. My gym visits have remained consistent, but getting up early on a Tuesday, after I've been out late the night before for choir, is not always my idea of fun. There are always ten thousand things I need to do at school, so the run doesn't happen, and later, I go to the gym and hop on a bike. That's not necessarily a horrible thing, at least I'm getting some good cardio, but it's not idea. I need to run three days a week to stay on top of my game.
The last few weeks, I've been getting that consistency back, slowly but surely. Today, and last week, I've made a point of making myself run, even if I get to work a little later than usual (I'm always there at least an hour before my class starts, sometimes more). And though I'm tired from a late Monday, and though it's hard to push myself out the front door, I find that once I start, that planned mile-and-a-half run becomes three miles--just like that.
No walking, no stopping. Just a steady pace and measured breathing.
Running feels good these days--oh, not like a massage, but just healthy. Sometimes my legs creak and groan a little (I have tight hamstrings today from yesterday's gym routine) and sometimes my ribs cramp up a bit (cold, not focusing on breath enough). But mostly, it just goes.
Three miles this morning. Four on Sunday. It seems like a long way for me, but I'm gradually increasing my distance. My goal is not a marathon or even a half--maybe a 10K, but for now I'm happy to focus on that sub-thirty 5K time. I know I can get it soon.
As I look back on how I've become a runner over the last four years, I see the walls I've busted through, and I'm proud.