spacer
Thrive logo
spacer
spacer Log in | Register spacer
corner spacer corner
spacer
spacer
corner browseissues corner
spacer
spacer
spacer
corner spacer corner
spacer
corner popularlinks corner
spacer
spacer
spacer
corner spacer corner
corner spacer corner
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
corner spacer corner
spacer
spacer
corner spacer corner
spacer

Learning To Thrive While Learning To Run
By Angelika

When I first began running, I had no idea how far it would take me. I was an overweight child. Throughout elementary and high school I hated P.E. Yes, I was the kid that got picked last, and I could hardly run half a lap around the track, let alone the 12 that were required to pass our yearly physical test. I would pray for rain, snow, anything to get me out of running the obligatory 5 minute warm-up laps before class begun. I hated running.

Fast forward 11 years or so and I thought I’d be the last person considering a marathon. While my physical fitness had drastically improved, and at some point my dream of becoming a healthy weighing adult became a reality, still, running was reserved for “real” athletes. I would ooh and ahh when my friends described their running accomplishments, marveling at their seemingly inhuman fitness and ability to run 45 minutes without stopping. I would drive along the beach in the town where I live and cringe at the suicidal maniacs who dared to make their way up Oxford Street, a climb that would put most San Francisco streets to shame, or Marine Drive, perhaps a slightly less steep climb but about 5 times as long as Oxford! Then one day, like every other endeavor I tackled in my life, including my law degree, my musings turned into “I wonder if I could do that?” I sought advice from a few friends, Googled, and then finally one cold December evening I set out on my very first run, garbed in a pair of ancient shoes that looked like sneakers, but were more of a fashion statement, my yoga outfit, and a watch.

I had no idea what I was in for except that I knew I had to start slow. My first 20 minute run consisted of a succession of 3 minutes of running, followed by 2 minutes of walking. I didn’t experience the memorable flutter of childhood panic after being told, “Ok everyone, hit the track for a 5 minute warm-up!” What I got instead was the familiar acrid taste of blood in my mouth, and that awful breathing–the loud, rapid, painful breathing that made me wonder if I overdid it. This time, I had chosen not to listen to music, having learned, through various other physical activities I pursued over the years, to become familiar with my breath instead of drowning it out. Still, the breathing was driving me crazy, as was the taste. “How on earth am I ever going to run for 45 minutes,” I asked myself, “if I can hardly run 3?” Since my motivation to start was merely to see if I COULD do it, I persisted.

I added 5 minutes to my next run for a total of 25 minutes. Over the next few weeks, I built up from 3 minutes to 15 minutes of continuous running, then 20 minutes to 35, and finally 45 minutes. I felt ecstatic. Eventually, the number of days I ran increased from 2 to 3 days per week, and then I began tracking the kilometers–5, 6, 7… One day, I set out for a regular run and ended up running from my home, down to and along the beach, then back home for a total of 8.8 kilometers for the very first time. I was exhausted, but as I rounded the last corner a smile lit up my face. “Enjoy this moment,” I told myself, “because there is only one ‘first time’ for everything.”

And two weeks later, with my friend’s encouraging words of “Of course you could do a 10K!” I ran my very first race on Canada Day. My goal for that day was merely to just “do it”, but as I crossed the finish line, my friend pointed to the clock and yelled, “UNDER AN HOUR! YOU CAME IN UNDER AN HOUR!” and I repeated to myself again, “Enjoy this moment because there is only one ‘first time’ for everything.” Followed by, “I DID IT! I DID IT!” My eyes brimmed with tears, touched by the support of my fiancé and friend, and the many spectators who came to support me and everyone else. It felt wonderful to be believed in. I felt as if I could climb any mountain, I could do anything, because I had achieved the seemingly impossible feat of running 10 kilometers. I had it in me all along.

I savored that special moment and then, as my heart rate returned to normal, I marveled: If I could go from a chubby child who hated running, to a young woman hardly able to run 3 minutes, and now I had just accomplished an hour run–what else was I capable of? Could I go up Oxford Street, or Marine Drive? Could I do a half-marathon, or a full-marathon? There was only one way to find out.

Although running is typically not a team activity, it isn’t entirely solitary either. I’ve been able to rope in a few friends here and there, including a wonderful, steady running buddy who is my future sister-in-law. Together we have seen each other through minor injuries, days where we felt like walking or throwing-up following a particularly arduous hill climb, and the occasional bouts of laziness. We’ve also seen each other through 3 days of running, then to 4 and 5, and nearly 30 kilometers of running per week. Ten kilometers is becoming a regular run for us. In fact, we conquered Marine Drive together and will begin working on Oxford Street soon as we work our way up to our first half-marathon.

While she and I run together, the rest of our family runs with us in spirit. After, we regale them with stories of our conquests and the lessons we learned along the way. Such as the fact that running seems to be a big metaphor for life and for little clichés like: start slow, be consistent, give yourself a break when needed, be kind to yourself, push yourself, don’t give up. These mantras have been on my mind at one point or another throughout a run. Other revelations are less obvious or cliché. Those are the ones that expand my horizons, that challenge me to open my mind to new experiences and different ways of thinking about and seeing the world. Running, similar to meditation, has helped me become a better person because while running can become a habit, it can also help break habits. After all, 45 minutes is a long time to contemplate your life, to focus on your breath, and to pick one affirmation to work on during a particular run, and then repeat it to yourself over and over again.

Whether it’s the challenge of putting my shoes on and getting out the door, tackling a steeper hill, a longer course, or overcoming fatigue, running has helped me realize that each challenge is possible to overcome.  And although that first step is all up to me, once I do it, I know anything is possible. My running buddy may be facing a different challenge that day, and I can share the experience and inspire others.

If you’ve ever had the thought in your mind, “Could I do that?” the answer is ALWAYS “Yes!” The key is to just “do it.” Enjoy the moment, because while there is only one “first time” for everything, everything encompasses an endless array of possibilities.

LINKS:

There’s really only ONE main resource I used which was Runner’s World .

If you wish to actually talk to someone nice and get advice or training then The Running Room offers not only shoes, clothes but also courses on running called “Running Clinics” as well as books and running journals.

Share
spacer
COMMENT (0) | spiritual, sports
spacer

Comments

Leave a Reply





spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
corner spacer corner
spacer
corner spacer corner
spacer
newsletter
spacer
spacer
spacer
corner spacer corner
spacer
corner comments corner
spacer
  • Robert Goldsmith: Thank you for sharing that very intimate experience and your story. I’m married to an...
  • MANDI: Is this group still going? I love my husband and I knew what I was getting into when I married him. I knew he...
  • Kelly: Dear Keith, I hope you are at peace now. You are missed by many.
  • Delilah Campos: Dear LaVora, Thank you so much for sharing this intimate experience. I am deeply touched and...
  • Mary Ellen Bennett: Thank you so much. I am married to an alcoholic and I have watched him go through rehabilitation...
  • Tracy: Thank you for sharing your story with me Ivor. I’m so glad you had a loving supportive Aunt to guide you...
  • Joe Longo: Love this photo
  • Daniel Fontana: I know those kids,especially Snezana.Please send me their contact information.
  • Neyhaaa: I can’t thank you enough for sharing this. Yet, thank you.
  • Amy: My daughter is five and her dad is an alcoholic. I know we need to leave. We both own our house and I...
  • CPC: I think this is among the such a lot important info for me. And i’m happy studying your article. However...
  • online festival: Every year, people in India find different ways to celebrate the same festival, and perhaps this...
  • Karol: Listening to all the mother’s on here is overwhelming for me. I think about what all of you are going...
  • Vicki Osheka: This is my second marriage and I came from a non drinking family. Didn’t realize what I was...
  • Elle: Wel written article. My husband is walking around totally beligerant. Where he ends up making messes, he has...
  • Maren: Thank you for this! 3rd day on Cipralex and a glimmer of hope.
  • Anonymous: I ‘gave in’ recently. I am more hopeful than ever that things will improve for me after...
  • LindaJane Riley: I apologize to everyone who has commented. I didn’t know this story was still active. I would...
  • Rahulbh28: Dear Members, Please help me. . . I’m sharing my painful moments which my brother and my family...
  • rene: Yes i too lived the nightmare for 45 yrs..when in my marriage the last. 10 yrs my alcoholic lived in the same...
  • Grace: I typed in Google search, overcoming childhood loneliness because I am paying attention to some habits that I...
  • Casadina: I am so thankful that I found this website. I am like others on here and my alcoholic is passed out snoring...
  • Grateful: I cannot express how much I appreciate your story. I have been with my alcoholic for 11 years and I do not...
  • Vic: I stumbled upon this beautifully written article because I just “gave in” today. I just picked up my...
  • Carol: I have recently begun to admit that my husband is an alcoholic. My heart is broken… I am pissed… I...
  • TJ: Thank you for this article. You are the first person who seems to understand why I am still married to an...
  • sariah: I wept as I read your story. I am currently learning to detach as well after 20 years of marriage to an...
  • LaVora: Good luck, N. My experience may not be yours. However, I deeply believe that happiness is our birthright. You...
  • nk: Lavora, I am exactly here in my marriage – trying to turn it around. Rgds, N
  • Suzanne: Hi Martin and Cathy. Watched your documentary. You are a wonderful family. Everyone has their struggles, no...
  • admin: Thank you for letting us know. The link is now set to the their new WEB page. We have our dog from them.
  • Linda Jane Riley: About a year ago I was forced to take a step back from all things related to alcoholism. My...
  • SHerry: Your link to the rescue adoption site is for sale with no other info on the dogs.
  • Marleen: Thank you for sharing your story! That’s real inspirating!
  • Julie: Its 4:50am here. I can hear him snoring in the nursery. I brought the baby to bed with me.. He only snores...
  • ld: I thought I was suffering alone. The advice and comments make me feel better and gives me the strength to go on....
  • Sam: Hi Mike, Very poignant, “There are no grown-ups. We are all children in adult garments” is right on...
  • TJ: Thank You!!! Like “judy” commented above my mind was racing and I felt out of control… My life...
  • Karunakaran: It’s very nice.
  • judy: Thanks for ur writings… it really help my mind to calm down…. where can i go to talk with alot of...
  • Tanya Sousa: We certainly do have to change the way we respond, don’t we Paul? I’m encouraged though. I...
  • Paul Trainer: Thank you, Tanya, this is all so true. As someone who adores starlings too, I know that it is only when...
  • Cathy: In reading I see how difficult it is to be married to an alcoholic husband for 30 years and have now...
  • carrir: You took the words right out of my mouth. Xoxo
  • ceri: What an amazing story of love between step son and step father
  • Caney Texas: Hello! I’ve been reading your site for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and...
  • julie: what a wonderful article, she described me to a tee , it was nice to put words to the feelings , I am new to...
  • michele: I am hurting so badly right now, it is taking all the strength and coping ability I have just to get through...
  • denise morini: PLEASE understand that I do not feel redeemed……still 230;……..getting Lexi...
  • Carleen Quesenberry: Denise- It is perplexing that you would write a “feel good” story after you...
  • Jon: While I love the article, I caution those reading the post by “finally AM, me.” I was in a...
  • Wendy Noer: I felt like I was there, good story Melodee, keep writing. Let me know when you finish another one.
  • Anonymous: thank you
  • Sandi: This is great, Mel! Congratulations! I hope to see more of your writings – especially the novel...
  • Sherveen Ashtari: I never forget kind and terrific people, Alex!! :) I actually beat you to it and sent you an email...
  • Alex: Yaay, you DO remember me and the penguins!! :) That makes me so happy. I’m doing well. Thank ya for...
  • Sherveen Ashtari: Hello, Alex! Of course I remember you, and how can I ever forget that hilarious phrase?! :) How...
  • Alex: Hi, Sherveen! I had always hoped to bump into you again. These are fine articles you’ve written. You may...
  • Katie: My name is Katie. I’m 40. I have only visited your website, haven’t purchased your book yet....
  • Kaylee: Your story helped convince me to start retaking my cipralex! Thank you!
  • gautam khanal: Love actually does not have any boundary of Cast,Religion,Profile,Species, Class etc…..
  • Nayanna Chakrbarty: Dear Kalpana, Thank you for your kind wishes. I do agree with you, when you think you are all...
  • Kalpana: Dear Nayanna, It’ such a pleasure reading your experiences with Ganapthi (as I call him). He is so...
spacer
corner spacer corner
spacer
Copyright 2010 thriveinlife.ca. All rights reserved. | Privacy Statement
spacer
spacer