So…I’m becoming a runner. And I love it. My obsession with running is a fairly new thing, but it’s one of the best things that’s come out of my move.
Before I got my job, I was living at home. It was great to have a rent-free place to live, and have nothing to do but look for jobs, but I was getting antsy. All winter long I was stuck doing the same circuit-style workouts in my tiny bedroom and it got so boring. I also was dealing with some bad body image at the time, so life was just rough. Yeah, it was great to be free but I needed a change.
Once I moved to Tulsa and got all settled in, I was hitting up my complex’s fitness center every other day or so (alternating with circuit-style workouts in my apartment). It was great to have all that equipment so close and for free. And then when it started getting warm, I ventured to the riverside trail literally across the street from my apartment. First I was just walking, but at the beginning of last month, I started running on a whim. I was doing a mix of running and walking, with a lot more walking while I built up my endurance.
I used to hate running, because I felt like I could never catch my breath. It felt a lot more exhausting to me than biking, or playing tennis. But I always dreamed in the back of my head that I could someday become a runner.
And while I’m still quite a newbie, I’m proud to call myself a runner. I finally have running shoes instead of trying to run in Converse (bad idea — I hurt my Achilles’ doing that!), and I’m consistently going for runs outside 3 or 4 times per week. Having incredible weather helps — it’s been so warm that I can barely motivate myself to go to the fitness center to cross-train. And having my weird schedule means I can go for a run right after I get off work and I get the best weather of the day and fewer people are out.
The best part is, I can really see myself making strides. Yesterday, I ran my first 5K — the entire 3.1 mile distance — without a walking break (I stopped at a park at the halfway mark to shake out my legs for a couple minutes, but then I ran all the way there and back without breaking). It felt incredible to be out there, in the rain, just me and my music and the trees flying by. I still have to work on my breathing — I do feel out of breath sometimes so I need to find a better pattern that feels more natural — but my endurance has really improved. And running is really giving me a high! I truly look forward to my runs, and they’re the highlight of my days.
I might not be the fastest runner, and I may not be running that far, but progress is what it’s all about for me and the fact that I have a new-found love fills me with such joy. I finally understand why people love running so much! And I hope my love for running continues to grow with each and every run.
What’s something you never thought you’d love but now you do?