Loving Myself Through Running

 

Step, step, breathe. Step, step, breathe. 

If you had told me 8 years ago that I wouldn't be able to go more than a week without getting in a good run, I would've laughed in your face. Running was reserved for organized sports, or for frantically trying to catch the train and failing during rush hour. If I didn't have to get from point A to point B, then why bother?

 

Nike running app voice: you...have...run...two...point...five...miles.


Then I moved to Virginia for school, in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. Land of the rich landscapesand fresh air (never mind the tobacco plantations that weren't too far away). On top of that my freshman thirty fifteen had taken full effect....so I strapped on my sneakers and gave it the good old college try. I had to do a sub 6'30 mi for basketball, so I could do this, right?

 

Track switches from Sara Bareilles' "King of Anything" to Rick Ross' "So Sophisticated." Strides quicken.


Needless to say, my first run was a disaster. My legs feel like rubber, and my lungs were screaming "this is why you can never pick up a smoking habit". Many wheezes later, I limped backed home. 

 

Pause to grab some water and stretch. Wave at a dogwalker.

Weirdly enough, I found myself on that same stretch of trail, three days later. (What can I say, I'm a glutton for punishment). Yet again, I found myself wheezy, struggling....but still, I kept coming back. Everytime ended in my basically crawling back home, with one gradual change...that stretch of trail that I could run would keep getting longer.

switches music to Vampire Weekend. prepares for cool-down. 

The first time I ran two miles straight, I damn near cried. The first time I ran five, I wanted to hug the person next to me (I don't thing the elderly power-walker would have appreciated that). And now, running is a part of me. It's how I clear my mind, it's how I wake up, it helps me feel like I can accomplish anything.

I don't know when, how or why that transition happened. But I'll get some more clarity on that after I lace up and explore Astoria Park some more.



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