The Runner's Chronicles - 1

I finally built the courage to show up at a running club.

This happened a few years ago and let me tell you, it was not easy. My thoughts, the eve of, included; what if I slow down the whole group, and what if I run funny, and what if I can’t finish and they all have to wait for me, and what if they don’t like me on top of all that?

First day of school trauma came rushing back, that’s something I didn’t think I would encounter in life again. But there they were, my insecurities, as energized as ever.

Truth be told, it’s not even like I love running, and I felt the same at that point. It’s just that running was teaching me a few things that I couldn’t necessarily convince myself of. For example, I always told myself I wasn’t an athletic person but through my slow start into this new lifestyle, my running escalated from 5 minutes, to 10 minutes, to 15, and then progressively to 40.

I must say, looking back, that I am glad I didn’t begin my athletic journey with a running watch or a running app; I simply used my vintage Casio that has a chronometer to allow me to see how long I was running, rather than how fast. That would have been discouraging for a new runner (such as myself) 

So, to go back to my first day at the running club, I was locked in because I happened to meet one of the members of the club the night before. I couldn’t not show up now. Damn it…

I wore a cute PRAISE outfit to ease the newbie feeling, and to my surprise, people were extremely pleasant. Some showed up early and some closer to the warmup. I was still hoping they were not all gazelles wearing human skin, so I stretched and prepared for what may become yet another embarrassing moment of my adult life.

The organizers gave some direction on the 2 distances offered that day, a 5k and a 10k, and so we began our journey. We stopped in a few places for traffic lights, runners took pictures here and there, and I heard joy and laughter throughout my run. Lovely runners asking me if I was doing ok, and we even took a moment to regroup sure we were all caught up with each other.

When I finished my 5k that day I realized that the detailed scenarios I so creatively crafted in my own head were exclusively formed of my own worries.

Running Teaching #3: The only thing stopping you is your mind.