Sunday, May 1, 2016

Today I Ran

I have never been a runner. I have never wanted to run. I have never even had the slightest urge to try. It is funny to me now that I reflect on my aversion to running because I have always been a dancer. I danced my whole life for hours on end: heart racing, breaths quick, side cramps, and muscles sore. Dancing is no joke; it is a serious cardio workout. I was even in Colorguard as a high-schooler, running around a football field during a 12 minute half-time show. Now that was also serious cardio. 

I don't know why I despised running so much, even though I had never really done it. 

One memory comes to mind that could explain part of my distaste for running: 

I was in 5th grade gym class, running the dreaded mile. I have had asthma my whole life, always induced by strenuous exercise (especially outside in the heat). I remember it was spring--the weather was pretty warm. The Cincinnati humidity was setting in and the sun was high in the sky. My gym teacher was never my favorite teacher. My gym teacher scared me. She did not like the face that I needed to leave gym class almost every day to use my inhaler, and she let me know it.

The day we ran the mile it was humid, muggy, and hot. I got about halfway through the mile and could feel my lungs starting to constrict. I started wheezing and stopped cold while the other kids continued to run past me. Once I felt like I could move again, I began to walk towards the gym door. I needed my inhaler in the nurse's office. As I walked holding my chest, my gym teacher yelled from across the field, "You better not think of stopping! Your grade is on the line. I am not stopping the timer!" With teary eyes I continued into the gym door. "The timer's running. You better get back out here and finish." As I pulled the door shut, I continued to the nurse's office feeling embarrassed and as small as a mouse. 

That was my experience with running. It continued through 6th grade until I moved to the middle school. I honestly never thought of trying to run after that. It's silly, but things stick with you. 

But today I ran. 

I have been toying with the idea for a week or so, and today I decided to try. It doesn't hurt to try, right? So my dog, Remy, and I went out and walked/jogged for 2.5 miles. I didn't completely enjoy it. And I didn't completely hate it. Remy felt the same way. The first time is always the hardest, but I don't plan on giving up. 

I'm going to keep it up and see how I do the next few weeks. Of course, I am not giving up my dance classes or Zumba. That's just more "me." But I like being able to just go and get out of the house with Remy. 

At first, I felt silly. I worried that I looked ridiculous running. I told Bjorn last night that I didn't think I knew how to run. I worried that I would double over halfway through and stop breathing. But, who am I kidding. I know my body. I know what I can do and what I can't do. I took my inhaler, rubbed some En-R-Gee essential oil on my wrist, drank some water, and went. Today I stopped making excuses and tried something new. 

And tonight I feel accomplished and a little sore, but I am proud of myself for kicking myself in the pants and just going for it. And so is Remy. 

Love and happiness <3 Holly