The Art of Running
I got it into my head a couple of weeks ago that I was going to start jogging.
So I did.
To emphasize how completely out of character this is for me, I must share details of my past relationship with running.
MY ROCKY PAST RELATIONSHIP WITH RUNNING
I’ve always hated running.
As a primary student I loathed any gym activity that involved running. In fact, I quit taking gym in high school as soon as it was no longer a prerequisite because I knew that they would eventually make me run.
I liked other sports and was quite active playing baseball, volley ball, basketball, etc., but running for running’s sake? I just didn’t get it, particularly cross-country running. I’m sure it didn’t help that my views were skewed by my abysmally poor cardio: running gave me instant stitches and had me gasping for breath like like a fish out of water within the first 100 meters.
Running, in my mind, was pointless and painful. Why would anyone WANT to do it?
[flashback to two weeks ago]
The idea of running had been sprinting in and out of my mind for over a year. That I was entertaining the idea at all was a bemusement to me. I was never the kind of person who would run, you know, ON PURPOSE. I’m not a runner.
But could I be?
Two weeks ago this wee doubt – could I be? – finally broke apart my former firm conviction of myself as a non-runner.
Two weeks ago I was having a lovely early morning stroll along stunning Chesterman Beach in Tofino. Andrew and I shared the early morning quietude with several joggers. As I watched them pass I thought, “I want to do that. I want to be ABLE to do that.”
When we returned home from our trip I researched couch to 5K running apps, bought one, patronized the local running store to get the basics (I didn’t even own a pair of running shoes), and ran my first training run.
It was brutal.
My feet felt like bricks and at the session’s conclusion my face was the exact same shade as my pretty, new magenta Nike’s.
The next day (and the next), my leg muscles were screaming. I started to get anxious about my next run. On the day of my second session I had doubts about whether or not I’d be able to even make it through the session, let alone the 9 week program.
I ran anyways.
And you know what? It was much less brutal than my first session. The following day my leg muscles didn’t complain at all. I began to think that if I kept at it that maybe I COULD make it through the 9 week program and be running a full 30 minutes straight by the end of it.
THAT’S NICE, JODY, BUT WHAT DOES RUNNING HAVE TO DO WITH ART?
The initial success I’ve had with running (the third and fourth sessions have been easier, even pleasant) has given me a great boost of confidence. If I can become, through hard work and determination, something I truly believed I would never be, well, the sky’s the limit, isn’t it? Running is reigniting my drive.
I could be that artist who is represented by galleries.
I could be that artist who makes a financially viable living selling her artwork.
I could be that artist who turns her creative dreams into realities.
But it ain’t gonna be easy.
Like the training app, it’s all about baby steps. Knowing when to run. Knowing when to walk. Slowly building up your endurance and strength to go farther.
I’m starting to think this running thing isn’t so stupid after all.
And you? Have you learned anything new about yourself? How have you surprised yourself lately? Please share in the comments!