Now you wouldn’t believe it if I told you. But I can run like the wind blows. From that day on, if I was going somewhere, I WAS RUNNING!
Now Forrest knew from an early age that he liked to run. Running got him him a football scholarship to Alabama. It saved his life in ‘Nam. And it made him a pseudo celebrity when he ran across the country several times.
Me on the other hand, I’m still not convinced that I like to run. I run because I HAVE to. Mentally, if I didn’t run, I don’t know what I’d do with myself. This is a far cry from my earlier life when I didn’t just dislike running, I LOATHED it. Running was a punishment at soccer practice when I was a wee lad. Then it became the hardest part of practice when I was in high school. IThere was no way anyone in their right mind would just go out and run for no reason, I thought. Oh me of little faith.
After high school, it was on to college and a run free lifestyle filled with late night fried food and lots of Keystone Light. I was a pig in slop. Four years later, I was on to Wheeling, WV where I was working for a minor league hockey team (GO NAILERS). I addressed this in an earlier post, but there was nothing to do in there so I became active. I had a free gym membership through work and I took advantage of it.
I remember being on the treadmill for a mile and a half and breathing like a fat kid with asthma. But somehow I stuck with it. I would do that for a couple of weeks, then increase by half a mile. Eventually, I was doing 5, 6 and 7 miles with ease and even got a coworker off of his ass to start running. Oddly enough, I remember telling him that I had no desire to run further than what I was doing at the time. But it’s funny what a person will challenge themselves with and what they’re capable of.
I ran my first half marathon in January of 2008 in a time of 1 hour 34 minutes. After running thirteen miles, I became obsessed for lack of a better term. If I could handle that, then I could certainly handle a full marathon. So I signed up for my first in May of 2008 (and only so far but I am signed up for the 2010 Pittsburgh Marathon). I ran the Long Island Marathon in a time of 3 hours and 19 minutes. While I took a hiatus from running races, I have since gotten back into it recently with the past Sunday’s 5k (sixth place overall). Ally and I also have a 10k on Thanksgiving Day in Wilmington, DE.
What I’m trying to say is that I don’t really know why people run, but for me it was out of shear boredom. Now it has since become out of necessity. This isn’t a call to everyone to get out and run because it’s not for everyone, but there may be something out there waiting for you that you don’t know about yet.