In one year I’ve ran 4 official 5ks, 2 4-6 mile obstacle course races, and a 10k. Looking back at my life, I would have never dreamed of these distances.
All through grade school running was my enemy. I despised it. My brother ran miles for FUN during recess. It drove me crazy. The timed mile of the President’s Physical Education test was always an embarrassing day for me. I always ended last. Slowest kid in the class- that was my title.
I remember the feeling of other kids lapping me, or chastizing me from the sidelines complaining of how cold they were. Did they know I was cold to? I probably could have tried harder, but I really didn’t care. 10 steps and I was huffing and puffing again scrambling for the inhaler in my pocket.
College came and I vowed that I’d get my health together. I swam and tried to keep up with the others, but it was a poor attempt. I always felt bad when they invited me to run, because I slowed them down. I lagged behind. I never could quite keep up.
Then last year, through the Biggest Loser, I caught the running bug. As I lost more weight, I got faster. Running brought freedom. Running brought clarity. Running became something I could do and succeed at.
Now, running is no longer about being the slow one or the last one, it’s about being the one out on the trail at sunrise, just to breath the fresh air and feel the wind beneath my feet. I know now that I’m running my own race, and if I continually get better than my last run, then I’m a winner.