Wednesday, January 25, 2012

how the running started

I used to despise running. Absolutely, wholeheartedly despised it. 

I can clearly remember Mr. Dunlop, our PE Teacher in elementary school saying "keep those feet light, Jessie!" as he made us run laps in the gym. 

And can clearly remember the excitement I felt when Mr. Keiser, our PE Teacher in middle school, said "You guys only have to run for one song today!"...and then the immediate devastation when "American Pie" by Don McLean came on. The "just one song" was a painfully long eight minutes and thirty three seconds. 

And I remember being so thankful that my brief time as a cheer leader at PCHS got me out of the normal amount of semesters required for PE in high school.

Of course the irony in all this is I am now madly in love with a Physical Education Teacher. But I digress...

When my friend and coworker Jess suggested that I try running with her I must have said no approximately 100 times. I just couldn't even fathom it. But then she had a baby and suggested I start with her after she was clear to run again, because she would "be going slow" after not running for so long.

So, I thought....why not? I'm a young twenty four year old, who's yet to have children and theoretically should not be in that bad of shape. And, I could always give it a shot and if I still hated it like all those years in PE class, I could quit. 

We started out slow, and in the beginning I could hardly run half of a half of mile. I constantly felt like I couldn't breathe and my shins felt like someone was digging a knife into them. Jess was patient and encouraged me all the time...even when I threatened to punch her in the face if she made me go any farther :) She was consistently upbeat, and pushed me all the time, telling me I could do it. 

And somehow, here I am, four months later, able to run 2.5 miles and signed up to race in the 5K River Bank Run. Not just to run it, but to raise money and awareness for women in Grand Rapids running from domestic violence. To give them help and protection at Safe Haven Ministries

I have a long way to go, but I'm finally excited about running. About pushing myself and setting a goal. About making a difference not only in my life, but in the lives of other women who need it even more. You can help too -- click here to go to my fundraising page and make a donation online, or send a check to Safe Haven and include my name in the memo line.

Be the change. Make the difference.  

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