Transport yourself back in time to elementary school. Lunch boxes complete with Kool-Aid in a thermos, missing front teeth, and Band-Aid covered knees.
Transport yourself further to gym class. The annual “run the mile” day. Maybe you were the athletic kid sprinting out in front of the rest of the pack, a pastel-colored blur with something to prove. If you were like me, you were coughing your juvenile lungs out, trailing everyone else by a good half a lap, with the gym teacher yelling for you to “pick up the pace.”
Needless to say, I’ve never been a runner. In fact, I’ve always abhorred it. My approach to running was, until last night, that I don’t run unless something very dangerous is chasing me.
That was before I finally committed to the Couch to 5k program, known to most simply as “C25K.” I first heard about it on the Weight Watchers message boards, and quickly dismissed it as something sluggish moi could never survive. As the pounds came off, I mentally shrugged and thought, why not?
I’ll admit I procrastinated. A lot. After a lot of encouragement from some of my co-workers, I picked up a pair of running shoes and went with one of the students who works in our office, Allison. I arrived at our designated meeting spot a few minutes early and paced nervously, half-heartedly stretching out in the hopes that I would appear to be a bona-fide athlete instead of just a wannabe.
For those of you unfamiliar with the program, you listen to one of several podcasts that tell you when to run, when to walk, etc.
I didn’t collapse. I didn’t trip and break my leg. I wasn’t eaten by a gigantic bear that popped out of the woods onto the trail, or any of the other increasingly ridiculous scenarios I had envisioned before I started.
In fact, I’m pretty proud of myself. I wasn’t the speediest person, but I also didn’t cheat and quit running before the podcast told me to. I survived that workout. As the voice cue for the five minute walking cooldown sounded in my ear, I honestly struggled not to cry in a big jumble of emotions – I never thought I’d make it. I’d been so certain of absolute failure.
But a big shout-out goes to Allison, because I would never have made it if she hadn’t been running ahead of me. Woohoo for Allison! Thank you.
Today’s my day off, but Thursday I’ll be out pounding the pavement again. I’m not going to give up.