I have not always been a runner. In fact, my mom used to call me "Miss I Hate to Run."
But my dad was a runner. He ran all through high school and college and continued many years after. So I knew a little about running. My dad taught me.
I was a soccer player. But soccer is only one season in high school and not two, so on a whim I went out for cross-country. I had run three 1.5 mile runs before my first practice. The first practice we ran 4.5 miles. Somehow I made it, competitive I guess. I didn't make it through most of the two a days. My coach just laughed at me. (Not in a mean way, he was really very sweet). I made it through the season. I managed to not get injured and because of the lack of girls, I ran varsity. I never got last and lowered my times throughout the season.
Running a season of cross-country didn't make me a runner. Becoming a runner is in the mind. Becoming a running is when running becomes so entwined in who you are that you cannot separate yourself from running. Runners run because they love to run. There are many reasons that people run, but runners are different in that they don't just run for the health benefits, or to lose weight, or get in shape. Runners run because they can't not run. Runners are not necessarily fast or in great shape. They don't always win races, if fact they may come in last. I'm not putting physical standards on being a runner and anybody can become a runner.
No, I became a runner in the winter after my first cross-country season. I became a runner when my friend Hanna and I would go on hour long runs everyday because we wanted to. We ran and enjoyed the camaraderie and the beauty around us. I still remember some of those runs. I became a runner when I ran for me and not because someone told me to.
Running brought me closer to my dad. He would go on my long runs with me in the summer and on weekends. Our runs were where we talked, where we connected.
I ran 4 years of cross-country and a year of track in high school and a year of cross-country and track in college until I quit school to get married. I don't regret quitting school, but I do regret quitting competitive running. I was on my way up when I quit and I don't know how far I could have gone. I have run in the last 5 years since I got married, sometimes more consistently than others. But there has never been a season where I don't think about running. I am happiest when I am running. I can't not run.
Now 2 kids later and 1 on the way, running is different, but I have dreams and goals. I want to be fast again and someday I will. Here I'm going to share my running story.