Day 1: My Unlikely Journey to Becoming an Inconsistent Runner [Part 1]

Or, How this Stupid Yet Wonderful Activity Changed My Life.
I made a joke yesterday about being inspired and writing a thousand words one day and slogging through two or three hundred the next. What I wrote this morning was about eleven-hundred words, so I decided to split it into two posts.

It started about three years ago. Not on January first, but on February second–I started one month and one day “late” because I hate resolutions. Also so that I could take a few weeks to learn all I could about running and basic nutrition, because as it happens, it’s not quite as simple as putting one foot in front of the other and restricting calories. Even so, I can’t accurately claim to be an expert in either of these things.

It started because I was fat and I hated it. More specifically, I hated myself for letting that happen. Starting from that morning in February and even to this day, it was never simply a battle of weight and aerobic fitness. It was also a battle of how changing how I feel about myself. Looking at it now, it’s just as cliche as every other kid with body image problems.
On that second morning in February, I started a couch to 5k program. It’s hard to imagine how I felt then about 3.1 miles, now that I’ve nearly run an unofficial half marathon. However intimidated I was, I started at the very beginning: alternating sixty seconds of running with ninety seconds of walking. I was embarrassed that the plan started with more walking than running. Even I, who had very little aerobic capability, could do more than this. In fact, I was so embarrassed, that I either ran very early in the morning or very late at night because I was so afraid of judgement.
Waking up early to run isn’t a big hassle when you’re at the beginning of a basic plan, where the time commitment is about twenty minutes.
My experience with that plan can be explained in exactly one word: ow. It hurt. A lot. Even though I started as easily as possible, I’m now surprised that I went from nothing to exercising three times a week consistently.
Fast forward past that season of drum corps and into that fall–specifically late November. After lifting with the intramural weightlifting club, I tripped over a piece of wood that propped open a door. I landed funny on my ankle and it hurt a fair amount, but I probably barely felt it because my legs were already noodles from breaking a squat PR.
The next morning I could barely walk–something’s probably hurt. It doesn’t matter though because I have to go to school. So I wrap it up and take some advil and hop on the bus. I knew there was a parade coming up that I had to march in, so I talked to my band director. I imagine the conversation went something like this:
“Yo Becky I think I broke my foot. I don’t know if I can march this parade.”
“Oh… uh okay. Have you seen a doctor?”
“Well no. I couldn’t get an appointment until next week.”
“Alright. Just let me know if you can’t be there.”
And with that, I marched the parade. What I didn’t know is that I actually broke something after the parade, when I stepped onto a sidewalk funny.
Click here to read part two.

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