Pull out my fingernails, please!
Okay not really, but can I tell you a secret?
I used to hate the very idea of running! After running a few times as part of my “get in shape” program, I actually considered it to be torture: pull out my fingernails, but don’t make me RUN.
So how did I come to love running?
Looking back, I can see the signs. Growing up, I was all about cycling because I loved the speed, the tight turns, the tough climbs, and amazing descents.
But then I got the coveted drivers license, and found myself doing fewer physical activities.
My fiancée, now my beautiful wife of almost 20 years, and I commited to get in shape. We weren’t very dedicated, but we did make some progress. Eventually, we decided to hit the gym and follow a good program in the book Body for Life. The program included some cardio, and we sometimes ran for this portion.
The running was miserable.
So miserable that the only organized race we had done was a charity 5K as part of my work team. That was good enough for me. One and done!!! Or was I?
Our friends told us about watching the New York Marathon. We heard about the incredible energy, and the excitement, and when they mentioned training for and running it, our competitive instincts took over. Then and there we came up with the crazy idea to run the Disney Marathon.
Sure, we’d already completed a single 5K. Why not a marathon?
We put a training plan together and started on our way to run a marathon at the happiest place on earth- the spot where my wife and I had met years earlier.
Training was brutal. The wrong socks, the terrible shoes, torturous FIVE and SIX mile runs, blisters that reminded me of blimps, and… chafing. (Body glide, folks, body glide.)
Marathon day came.
We swore we would never run a marathon again.
We experienced a soreness we hadn’t known existed. Even looking at even a set of stairs made us want curl up in the fetal position and cry. (We were too sore to get to the ground, however, so we didn’t.)
Two weeks after that, the running bug found us both. We began to plan our next marathon. We had fallen in love with the sport and became runners.
15 years later (I feel old!) we have run thousands of miles, completed events of several distances, conquered several marathons, BQ’d, and even have won an age group here and there.
Something I dreaded and hated changed my life for the best.
Running gave me the gift of living life. Seeing beauty and places I never would have otherwise. Meeting the most amazing people. Having something special to share with the love of my life. And it gave me my career. It has been one of my most important teachers, and the number one thing that hat I have learned from running is that the finish line is the beginning of what is possible.
PS – I still have all my fingernails! Toenails? Well, that is a different story.
What is your story? We’d love to hear how you got started. Drop us a line.