*Originally posted on Changing Journey*
I hate running. With an indescribable passion.
I blame junior high.
It’s not that I wasn’t an active child. I just wasn’t one of those “run through the neighborhood” type of kids. I was more of a “climb to the top of a tree and read a book” types. I’d hit the ball around with my brothers, or go fishing down in the creek. We’d ride our bikes down to the covered bridge or convince Mom that we’d be OK riding them to Grandma’s house.
But I didn’t do a whole lot of running. Cartwheels, handsprings, rolls….yes (my phys. ed. teacher tried encouraging me to get into gymnastics). Running….not so much.
Then, junior high happened. Among all of the other monumental changes that our young minds were presented with, phys. ed. also changed. No more dodge ball, kick ball, or parachute games. It was now field hockey, lacrosse, and softball. And a physical assessment once per semester. Part of this assessment was to run a timed mile.
I don’t remember any longer what my time was. I just remember needing to walk before my lungs exploded, and the teacher shouting to us that we needed to keep running. And then learning that I had to look forward to this again in a few months. Running sucked!
Through junior high and high school, anything longer than a 100 yard dash was too long and I did what I could to avoid running. It wasn’t until a couple of years after graduation that I started to make peace with running. Before moving out of my parents home, I fell into the routine of going for a walk after work or right after supper. After I moved to my first apartment, I kept that soothing routine by walking through downtown Lancaster. Much to my own surprise, those walks turned into short periods of running. A couple blocks here, a few more blocks on the way back. And I was actually enjoying it!
Then I met my ex-husband. He was a hard core runner. Five mile daily runs. Ten mile training runs. Ultras at least once a month. At the time, I thought this was a good opportunity to see if running and I could get along. Unfortunately, it was junior high all over again.
He must have seen some sort of potential in me (or so I convinced myself for a while). He decided he needed to “train” me to run races. My three mile runs were now filled with shouts to keep running, along with other insults that were meant as “motivation” to “prove him wrong”. That may work in some scenarios, but when it is the norm in your relationship with that person, all it turns out to be are more insults.
Sometime the three mile runs were replaced by timed track workouts….with more shouting and insults. In all honesty, I could run a pretty good seven minute mile. I just couldn’t maintain that speed. I didn’t have endurance. Most times, it took me three miles just to find my pace.
I ran my first five mile race….and did miserably. Due to having the incorrect shoe for my foot, I was plagued by horrible pain in my arches throughout the race. For me, this was a wonderful thing! This gave me a reason to opt out of running. Sure I’d have to endure the title of “quitter” for a little while, but if it meant the end of this nightmare, I was willing to endure it.
We were active members with the local road runners club. During our fun runs, I was now free to walk with some of the non-running wives in the club. On occasion I’d get tired of the chit-chat and would run on my own….and I’d do well. It’s amazing what one can do without all the yelling and insults!
As life moved on, I never really ran again (aside from running after the kids or rushing into the house because I forgot about dinner in the oven).
Life changed. Drastically.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been in a healing process of rediscovering myself. And much to my surprise (yet again), part of that process is coming back around to running. As Daniel and I have been on our journey to better health, my workouts on the elliptical became less and less challenging. I still didn’t have the strength or endurance to keep a running pace on the treadmill, so decided on HIIT workouts. The sprinting allows me periods of running at a (fast) pace my body can handle. The really surprising part of this is that I have started having hopes of being able to get back to running….on my own terms.
I still hate running, but I’m willing to work on creating a relationship with running. We have flirted for many, many years and many, many times over, there has been something that has gotten in the way of running and I having a proper relationship. But maybe I can heal that relationship as part of my overall healing process.
Plus, isn’t our journey about balance? I’d like to add body to the mind and spirit aspect of this verse:
For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
1 Corinthians 9:19-27