That’s right people! She’s back! Hey Megan is back sharing her story on how a girl who got kicked out of dance class (Oh, keep reading.) became a runner. Since she is one of the people that keeps Tracey on track (Get it? On track? Running? Never mind, that was terrible.) we are so glad she is the running expert that she is.
Let me be clear. I never intended to be a runner. I ended up being a runner. In fact, I have only recently come to realize that I actually became a runner. My neighbor just finished her first race–a Susan G. Komen 5k. She had a whole tam running with her from her job…but not me. Hmm…I’m not easily offended so as she was talking to me about her team, I chided her on not asking me. Her response was that I was a runner–and she wasn’t. Ha! So here I am officially labeled a runner. But let me digress. Like I was saying I NEVER intended to be a runner.
My Fitness Journey or “How I Became a Runner”
My journey starts with genetics to be honest. My dad played basketball forever. I mean forever. He played pick up games at our church at least once a week for as long as I can remember. Long after his peers had retired from church ball, he was still showing up. I believe it was a pretty bad back injury that ultimately sidelined him–from basketball. He still skis and goes to the gym. My dad started the youth basketball league in my town and ran it–forever. My mom…she supported my dad in his exercise efforts. Not that she hasn’t tried some forms of exercise. I believe she did line dancing for quite awhile and she takes walks either with or without grandkids. My point is, I think I had a good example of an exerciser in my home.
So my first foray into athletics was dance. A disaster for SOOOO many reasons. But that actually ended quickly because, well…I got kicked out for “goofing around.” I don’t remember this at all. And I might have taken my little sister down with me, but she ended up going back to dance later without me. Which was good–she has rhythm I most definitely do not. (As was evident in every aerobics class I ever tried). So then I was dutifully enrolled in BYBA (Belmont Youth Basketball Association) for how many years? Awhile I guess. Of course, I am not the “tall one” in my family and basketball wasn’t my thing, so my career ended early. So when high school hit I played field hockey–mostly because I couldn’t get “cut” from the team because no one did! And incredibly, I wasn’t too bad. It was my sport. I really enjoyed playing it and I was good enough that my coach pulled me aside and told me to do track for the next two seasons so I would get hurt playing other sports (which I never would have made the team for anyway, but in my egocentric teenage mind that sounded better). So I played field hockey through high school. The college I went to DEFINITELY did not have field hockey–I’m not sure anyone there had even heard of field hockey. BUT, I was in Utah so I skied.
Maybe too much. Maybe not.
I had fun which was reflected in my freshman grades…
I skied with my sister and my future brother in law. I skied with friends I knew and new friends! In the summer I mountain biked and hiked and went river rafting. I had a lot of fun in college. And I ran. I started running just to get out of my apartment. There was this great trail that led right up into the canyon. At first I just ran a mile or two but eventually I ran up to 10 miles at a time. I didn’t like the running part but it was something to do.
Now fast forward–I’m married and working. Now is when I tried out the gym classes. I didn’t kickboxing, yoga, some kind of weight class, aerobics (fail), step aerobics (epic fail), spin, you get the picture. I dabbled in them all but I ended up becoming a yoga instructor. Seriously. I know I don’t believe it either. I’m thinking I got talked into by the physical therapists at my work…
Anyway, that didn’t last long because right after my yoga training I got pregnant with twins. So all forms of solo activities came to a screeching halt–and have essentially not yet resumed. I honestly cannot remember if I did any organized form of exercise after my twins were born. Neither my husband nor I can remember a whole lot of those first couple of years.
So lets just skip to after my fourth child was born. I knew I was done being pregnant (mainly because we were/are having a REALLY hard time keeping track of number 3). I wanted to “be healthy” but have a genetic predisposition to being unable to stop eating chocolate (thanks mom!). So, I had a double stroller and I started running. Yep, just like Forrest Gump. My intent was to run until I had a enough time to do some other more enjoyable form of exercise. Time is funny though…somehow no matter how old my kids get I still don’t have any–time. Weird. So, with my 30 minutes of free time each morning I load up a kid or two in my double jogger and hit the pavement. All four of my kids have spent considerable time in that stroller with me huffing behind them.
And now I’m a runner.
I have finished two Tough Mudder races (thanks Jeanene) and a sprint triathlon (thanks Krista) and a couple of 15K (thanks Bren!) I almost exclusively train for these through running. Because now that’s what I do. Will I stop? Probably not. I like it now. It’s cheap and I can do it anywhere. Running starts my day off. I always run outside so I get some fresh air in the mix. My fellow runners–whether intentional or not–always give a wave or head nod of camaraderie as we pass. I’ll stick with it.