I was never a runner growing up, in fact, I despised running. I was very active in sports, but was never interested in running. I didn’t understand people that could just lace up their shoes and hit the pavement. As I got older, I wanted something active that I could do outdoors and that was inexpensive. The one thing that came to mind was the one thing that I never enjoyed doing.
It was a spring morning and perfect weather so I decided to lace up my tennies and go. Well, easier said than done. My “go” lasted about 30 seconds and I found myself crippled over and out of breath. This was not what I had in mind. I’m pretty sure I did not look anything like the people I have seen running on the streets, looking graceful as ever and not panting from being out of breath. I am someone who doesn’t give up easily. I was out there every morning, rain or shine, hating every minute of walking then running. Soon to find myself running a longer period of time and walking less. I eventually got myself to the point where I could run one mile comfortably and actually find myself enjoying it while looking at the scenery around me and not to mention, feeling amazing after the run was over.
Over the years, I was able to meet other people that enjoyed running as well and we would meet for weekend runs. Soon enough, I was signing myself up for my first run, which just so happened to be the St. Patrick’s Day Run. I set a goal for my first run, which was to not stop the entire run until I reached the finish line. I started the race and came to 3 miles, realizing that it was actually a 5 mile run and not a 5k. I ended up stopping one time through that 5 mile run. I was hard on myself and got a little down that I stopped during the run to break, but this is exactly what kept me going. I pushed myself farther and ended up signing myself up for another run, then another, eventually signing up for a 10k, then making the big step and training myself for a half marathon. Running started to turn into a way for me to distress and and clear my mind, but having fun while I do it.
My wardrobe may consist of too many race shirts to count, but my heart is filled with memories of each and every run. Not every run was the same. There were days where I went out there and gave it my all and there were days where I didn’t feel like running at all, but would always make the best of it. But, the most rewarding thing of all was to think of why I signed myself up for the run. Many of the runs are formed to help raise money for certain funds. Susan G. Komen, Backstoppers, Sarcoma, and many more. It is the most amazing feeling to know that the money you donated for the run was going to help others. What is 30, 40, or 60 minutes out of your day to be active and run for others that may not be able to?
I continue to run a few times a week. It may only be a short distance, but the feeling after the run keeps me going back for more. I started as a person who was not a fan at all of running and turned it into something that I now look forward to. By no means am I fast, but I set goals for myself while still having fun and enjoying what I do.
Are YOU interested in walking/running? Come join us for Saturday noon runs!! Running Forward into Fitness is here and we are doing group runs and/or walks. Whether you want to get one more day of activity or train for an event, this group is for you. Forward Fitness will be running in multiple races throughout the year. The St. Patty’s Day Run on March 11th and the GO! St. Louis (relay and/or 5K) on April 8th/9th will be the first ones.
If you are already an active runner or walker, come join us! If you aren’t someone who enjoys to run, come walk. Don’t like to wake up early for those morning runs or walks? Sleep in and meet us at noon on Saturdays. The more the merrier. Maybe you were never a runner, but would like to learn more and learn the correct form and training to get yourself started. Don’t want to sign up for the upcoming runs, that’s fine too, just come join us for the noon run or even get a group together to support the Forward Fitness family as they run or walk.
From now until the Go! St. Louis, we are meeting Saturdays at noon at Forward Fitness. We will have a warm up and then start training by doing some walking and running to help build endurance to get us on the right track for some good ole’ St. Louis runs. Bring the appropriate running/walking clothes and shoes so we can have some fun!