This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present? (Author: Patrick Reynolds)
This year, I started running.
At the beginning of 2010, I started a training program that my friend Julia helped me with. I enjoyed the first few workouts, but as I progressed, I began to dread the workouts. It culminated in a race I was supposed to run in April, but a flat tire on the way to Kansas City caused me to miss it. I took it as a sign from the Universe that I was not meant to be a runner and my training petered out over the summer.
The past few months, I've been feeling the itch again. I read something on Healthy Tipping Point and it stuck with me, kind of circling the back of my mind. Caitlin said that she runs to feel alive. I had really never considered that perspective. Towards the end of November, I got my running shoes back out and hit the road.
The morning of Thanksgiving was rainy and cold here in St Louis, but I wanted to run anyway. I went out for a two-miler with my Couch to 10k training app (which I love), and also started up my Nike+ GPS to track my distance. I jogged a bit, ran a bit, but realized a ways in that my C210k had been paused accidentally. Once I got it back up and going, the training resumed. I soldiered on through the drizzle. At one point, I crossed a driveway just as a family was arriving to presumably go inside for their holiday dinner. The man cheered me on as I jogged past. He will never know how that small gesture of acknowledgment and support from a total stranger touched me. Before I was just a chubby kid plodding through a workout, and afterwords, I felt like a runner. Even though I was only set to do two miles, I ended up completing a little more than a 5k. It was absolutely exhilarating. A workout had never felt that good, and it changed my entire perspective on how running could make me feel. It was a joy to complete, even with chapped lips, heart-pounding, and muscles burning, it felt amazing to be outside, alive, and aware.
Ever since, I have enjoyed my workouts so much more. I've stalled out a bit because of the weather, but while we figure out possibly buying a treadmill or joining a gym, I am anxious to get back at it. I know what Cailtin meant now when she said that she runs to make herself feel alive. I can't wait to get back at it.
2011 will be my year of miles. Julia is still a major motivator and one of my biggest cheerleaders. I'm even signed up for that race in April again, and this time, I'm going to finish it.