This past Sunday my friend and former co-worker and I ran our first 10K, the Women’s Health Run 10 Feed 10 race.
Earlier this year, in July, I decided I would start running. The weather was perfect for it and it seemed to be a fitting activity for a stressed out 20-something who needed a mental break from, what felt like, an overwhelming change of events-a.k.a. adulthood.
At this point, I feel the need to say that I understand that the world is probably tired of millennials complaining about how hard it is to be an adult. People have been growing up for years. Growing up happens. Stop crying, right? But for some reason there seems to be a great chasm that spans between being a carefree 18-year-old and knocking on the door of 24. It feels like you should have done something big. Maybe that’s the problem. My generation is waiting too much to be big, to be famous or be acknowledged for something people will only notice for as long as it’s viral online. Maybe we aren’t practicing being present and trusting that in being present, we will make it across the recurring chasms in life.
Now that I think about it, my sudden urge to hit the pavement this summer may have been a desperate attempt to just be in the moment.
I should also say that I have gone through bouts of physical fitness obsessions before. I promise myself I’m going to go to the gym or practice yoga and it lasts for all of a few weeks or maybe a few months, then the unction to sweat out my mornings in a gym subsides. When I packed a bag with shorts, a t-shirt, socks and running shoes and took it with me on my way to work one day, I did a small victory dance in my head.
This is going to happen.
After work, I shut down my computer and went to the bathroom to change.
One step closer to running.
I laced up my shoes, grabbed my water bottle, inhaler (even though I never use it) and keys. I ran. I didn’t run that far. I probably spent about 30-45 minutes running around the residential part of the town I work in, but I got out there. That first day, I felt awkward. I felt like an imposture. But that was a secret between me and my body.
I eventually asked Maggie if she wanted to start running with me. I warned her that I wasn’t very fast. She wasn’t an avid runner either. Soon a few days of running turned into a few weeks and those weeks turned into months. Along the way, running become more than a way to unwind. Running became a way to bond, to share our weaknesses, to rejoice in our strengths and to partner in meeting goals. Maggie’s determination and tenacity surprised me and prompted me to push my limits even when I didn’t want to.
One more block. You got this. Now, one more block.
We held hands as we crossed the finish line at the 10 K. It felt like the perfect ceremonious nod to four months of venturing into unknown physical fitness territory together.
Training for a 10K helped me to realized that I am stronger than I give myself credit for. I learned to set some goals and have some grace with myself along the way. I am no longer an imposture in running shoes.
Hebrews 10:39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.
Filed under: Chicago