I have run in exactly one foot-race in my life (if you discount the three-legged variety). It was at an Air Cadet sports meet, and I was there to hang with my friends. I certainly wasn’t there to do anything… sporty. But there was a scheduling conflict, and since I was the only one who wasn’t playing volleyball, Nikki (the team captain) nominated me to run in the cross country race.
I told them I couldn’t run. I told them I would come in dead last. I told them I wasn’t even sure I’d get to the finish line, but nobody believed me. So off I went.
The race was along a country road, out to a turn-around point and then back again. After a couple of run/walk intervals, I fell in with a gaggle of girls who weren’t all that interested in running either. And when I was ready to run again, they still weren’t all that interested, so I kept walking. Making new friends was much more fun than running.
Eventually, my new friends became bored with the whole endeavour, and decided to turn back. Now, I was not a runner, but I was not a quitter either. So I kept going. I ran a bit, I walked a bit. The road was hot, and dusty, and arrow-straight. Straight enough to see that the turn-around point was still a long way off. Straight enough to see that I was the only ‘runner’ left.
The approach to the turn-around point seemed to last forever. I felt silly, jogging clumsily up to the judges waiting in the back of a pickup truck. Too tired to run, too embarrassed to walk, I looked nobody in the eye and focussed instead on the dusty orange cone in the middle of the road. I rounded the cone and headed for home.
By the time I got back to the finish line, it was mostly deserted. Even my new friends had finished the race ahead of me, without troubling to tell anyone how far they had (or hadn’t) run. Everyone was gone.
Everyone, that is, except Nikki. And Martin. And Dave and Mark and Jen. My teammates were there to cheer me across the finish line with a hero’s welcome. I still felt a little silly, but all in all, it felt pretty good.
And Nikki looked at me and said “Wow, you really aren’t a runner, are you?”
I’m still not a runner, although I have started running. Just as a means to an end, though: running burns calories faster than walking, and baby isn’t ready for a bicycle trailer. And I’ve been very careful, these past 15 weeks, not to set lofty goals.
But something happens to me when I run. I get ambitious. I picture myself finishing that first 5 K, and it feels good. Really, really good.
In the past two weeks, I have lost 0.2 pounds, and then gained 0.7, for a net gain of half a pound. I’ve been struggling, and didn’t think I was doing that badly, but the gaps in my journal speak volumes. There are things I know I can do better, like drinking more water and getting more exercise, and I’m going to try and do those things.
And when I put it in perspective, I think I’m still doing ok:
But I’m still going to keep running. I may not be a runner, but I’m not a quitter, either.
Losing it in Ottawa is all about inspiring and motivating each other as a community to adopt lifelong healthy habits. With that in mind, we’d like to hear from you about which blogger you feel is most inspiring and motivating for you. Please complete our survey and two weeks from now we’ll tally the results and the blogger with the most votes will receive an outfit from Mark’s.
But that’s not all, my friends! The LIO community is so wonderfully supportive that we want to give an outfit to one of you as well. Entering is easy. Just leave us a comment any time over the next two weeks and you’ll be entered into the random draw for the second outfit.