I was never a runner. As a child I actually wasn’t into any sports but when I left home and went to university I started to do certain physical activities like teaching myself to swim. Over the years I expanded my exercise repertoire and before the boys were born I was actually a bit of a gym rat. But still… I *hated* running. It was boring and painful – NOT a good combination! Then the boys were born and my life became a seemingly endless progression of huge events: preemie twins, developmentally delayed twins, going back to work, marital breakup, ASD diagnosis for both boys… exercise just never seemed to be a big enough priority. About a year ago I realized that if I was going to stay healthy (mentally as well as physically) I really needed to start getting active again.
So, I decided to give running a whirl. After all, money was tight (and still is) and other than the cost of shoes, running is free. I did a lot of research in order to ascertain whether it was in fact possible to run without vomiting and discovered that it could be done! I took things very slowly and it went surprisingly well. After a short while I found that I actually started to love it. I got to the stage where I could run 7 km fairly comfortably, quite a bit further if I took short walk breaks. Then, tax season hit me and my life outside the office took a nose-dive. Despite my best intentions, I stopped running.
Yesterday I decided that I needed to break through the sloth of despond and just go for a run. And reader; I did. As I ran I discovered some things:
- I’d forgotten how hot I get. Even though my running jacket is wafer thin, I was still WAY too hot.
- I hadn’t forgotten how to pace myself though – yay me!
- I need new headphones. My current ones are older than my children and the wad of scotch tape I have wrapped around the cracked tubing really irritates my ears. Hmm. Maybe I’ll get money for my birthday that I can use to get some??!
I also found myself thinking over why it was so important for me to be running again:
- I feel healthier when I run.
- I like the endorphin high and the sense of accomplishment I get afterwards.
- I enjoy having some time that’s all my own.
- It’s an effective anti-depressant and is weight-bearing exercise – so it’s good for my bones.
- It helps control my blood sugar (my mother’s diabetic and I had gestational diabetes so I’m at risk for Type II diabetes).
- It alleviates my seasonal asthma.
In all honesty though, the most compelling reason for me to run is for my kids. They not only need me, they need me healthy. As I realized this I was running my last 5 minutes and a track from ‘Run Lola Run’ started playing. For those of you who haven’t seen the movie I’m not spoiling it for you by saying that Lola spends a lot of her time running 😉
Lola runs to try and prevent something from happening. When she doesn’t get there in time then time itself jumps backwards and she starts over. She continues to run over and over until finally, she gets where she needs to be in time to secure a happier outcome. It’s like Groundhog Day, but in German. I saw the film when it came out and I loved the soundtrack. I have a few of the songs from it on my playlist and when ‘Running Two’ started (creative title eh?) I realized it was perfectly in tune with my number one reason for running:
Never, never, never, never letting go,
Never giving up, never saying No
Just go, go, never stop
Just do, do, do the right thing
Love is just the only strain that makes me live through all my pain
I got caught up in the idea of never giving up, of doing the right thing for my kids because they are worth any amount of grief, of running for and because of them, that when I checked my watch I realized I’d run over my time. Without barfing! It was awesome!
But man, do I ever need to get some new headphones.