Growing up, I was not an athletic kid. I dreaded P.E., and I was always picked last for kickball. My mom was determined to find an athletic endeavor that I didn’t mind so that I could get some exercise and get out of the house during the summers. I was the little girl standing way out in the outfield during softball games, hoping and praying that each batter couldn’t hit very far because I had a snowball’s chance in hell of actually catching the ball or throwing it far enough to reach a teammate infield. I went to tennis classes, basketball camps, and dance lessons. I was gawky, half-blind, and uncoordinated with a tendency towards twisting my ankle.
Eventually I joined the swim team, which did not involve catching anything, throwing a ball, or running, and I happily splashed away the summers at our neighborhood pool. I was good enough at swimming to occasionally get picked to swim one leg of a four person relay, and I rarely came in dead last. The one time I received an award at the end-of-season banquet, it was for most improved. For me, that was the definition of athletic success.
When I was growing up, we had to endure physical fitness testing once a year, which meant “running” circles around a track until I’d dragged my panting, sweaty self a full mile. Running was torturous. I loathed and despised every step. I always got a stitch in my side, and I never saw the point of the endeavor. What were we running towards or from? Continue reading “Fine, I guess I am a runner.”
My husband introduced me to the world of trail running.
Before we met, I was adamantly, passionately anti-running. If the zombie apocalypse hit, I would have gone down swatting at the undead with the nearest pointy object rather than try to outrun them- even if they were the stumbling, slow-moving George Romero kind of zombies. Every. Single. Step. felt like torture when I tried to run.
I had this idea in my head that real runners were like my sister, who is a talented and dedicated road and trail runner. She puts on her cute running shorts and laces up her brightly colored running shoes, and she heads out for a run nearly every day. She doesn’t stop to walk, whine, or gasp like a fish out of water when she runs. She races regularly, and while she isn’t an elite sponsored athlete, she finishes her races in a respectable amount of time. She even placed 3rd in her age group at a race that she didn’t train for.
My husband introduced me to trail running in the Pacific Northwest. His runs were dirty, ugly battles against his own demons and Mother Nature. He’d come home muddy, sweaty, bleeding, exhausted, and exhilarated. Miles were hard-won, and there were no official rules. Whether you ran, jogged, walked or crawled, if you left your house and got out on the trails that day, that was considered a win. As my husband ticked off his grueling training runs, his goals and his confidence grew. He recently completed his first 50K in British Columbia this summer. Continue reading “Why start a DFL* blog?”