I’ve been hit up with a lot of questions as of late regarding how to get into running, good programs to follow, how/when/where to get fitted for shoes, why do my legs hurt? why do I cough up a lung after 23 seconds? Etc.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you all the answers I gave to those questions. You can ask me again yourself if you want. The one I want to impress upon all people thinking about running, in the middle of attempting Couch 2 5K, or maybe you’re still at the point where you think anyone putting out a slight jaunt above a walk is a total crazy-pants, is that running is terrible when you first start. It’s just plain awful. Your muscles will cramp up, your lungs will feel like you’re dying, you’ll cough your insides out for approximately 6 hours, 23 minutes, and 47 seconds after a 3 minute jaunt in your neighborhood. You will feel like puking and you’ll curse the living daylights out of any runner you see for a solid week afterward while out and about.
It’s the truth.
Sure there’s always that 1 out of 10,497 people who appear to have come out of the womb running marathons, but for the other 10,496 people, it’s hard work that can literally break your mind and body like nothing I have ever experienced in my life.
And here’s where I try and convince you that I’m not a lunatic for continually putting my body through hell and back on a daily basis…
Are you ready?
It’s because I pushed through pain, the coughing fits, the mental breakdowns after 1/4 of a mile, the scorching heat, and the boring treadmill runs, that I am a better human today than without running.
I first had to BELIEVE that I was capable of a feat I never ever saw possible in my previous 30+ years of life on this earth. I had to BELIEVE that God gave me this body as a gift and it is my responsibility to respect that and take care of it. I had to BELIEVE that the finish line was accessible to me and that I was going to cross it no matter what.
At first the finish line was 1 mile, then 2, a 5K, a 10K, a 10-miler, a half marathon, and at some point in life I will run a marathon. None of which I ever fathomed were within my grasp. It took every ounce of my being to get me past each and every one of those marks. I have had total meltdowns (in public) because my body told me I wasn’t going to be able to take another step. I told it otherwise. I gained a perspective that I could accomplish anything I put my mind to in life because I could get myself to that finish line and I’ve crossed it time and time again.
People used to laugh at me in high school when I walked the mile because I didn’t BELIEVE in the fact that I did have the ability and the willpower to do it at age 17. I still hear the laughs, I still see the smirks, and I still hear the voice of my gym teacher calling me a wuss and that I was “wasting the class’ time.”
Now I know that I have that internal fight and it was worth every single ounce of ridicule, every single twinge of pain and every single coughing fit.
I am strong because I BELIEVED.
Give it a fair shot. Work through the coughing, the aches, the muscle cramps. Fight your inner demons. I promise you that running can bring so much more to your life than just physical exercise. It completely overhauls your heart and your mind. You will be EMPOWERED.
Trust me. Trust yourself.
BELIEVE in who you are and KNOW that you are capable of making it across the finish line.