It runs in the family.
My grandpa ran in college, first at a small school in Michigan and then at the University of Michigan. He even made it to the Olympic trials! Running was a big part of his past.
Then there’s my mom. She ran track when she was younger, and she ran occasional races with her family when she was older, as did my dad when he started dating my mom. My great-aunt — she ran her first marathon around the age of 40. My sisters — they were both built for running – tall, with long limbs.
And then there’s me.
From an early age (thanks to elementary school P.E.), I’ve had a love/hate relationship with running. Running the mile at school was torture — fast kids sprinting past me, a P.E. teacher yelling in my ear, freshly cut grass just conveniently covering the track so that my allergies were at their worst. Oh yeah, those were the days.
Then 7th grade came, and track season began. I wanted to make friends and stay involved in school (and keep up the family tradition), so I joined. I lasted approximately three weeks. As much as I wanted to love it, I hated it. I continued to repeat this cycle in 8th and 9th grade. I guess I just thought something would change, but I ended up being a serial track quitter.
I quit for many reasons, but mainly because my lungs hurt, my shins hurts, my ankles hurt- and my ego hurt. I was not in running shape, and I hated running with kids who were. I couldn’t handle the pressure, physically or mentally.
After high school, I stopped dancing (my main source of physical activity in my younger years) and I turned to the gym for exercise. When I didn’t feel like being cooped up in the gym, my MP3 player and I would run through my college campus. It was a way for me to clear my head. I didn’t run too fast, and I didn’t run too far, but I ran. I didn’t have to compete against boys with 6-minute miles or girls who could leap hurdles taller than me. I just ran for me.
Since my freshman year of college, five years ago, I’ve completed a handful of 5Ks, one 10K and a couple of 5-milers. This May, I’ll be running two more races, each a 5K.
For years and years and years (and especially this past year, since I’ve started blogging), I’ve tried to make myself believe that I have to be a runner. “I have to run track because half of my family did. I have to run in college because all of my friends are doing it. I have to run after work because it’s what all of the bloggers do.”
But the truth is, running still isn’t my favorite. And I’m finally okay with admitting it. It doesn’t make me less of a fitness enthusiast or a blogger or a family member. It just makes me, well, me.
You might remember that one of my New Year’s resolutions
is was to run a half marathon. I’ve decided not to pursue that goal. I’ve realized that the only reason I wanted to do it is because my sister is doing it, and I see a million other bloggers doing it, and well, I wanted to do it too.
I will still be running two 5Ks in May, but I will be doing it for fun. My only goal is that I finish, and I’d say that’s a pretty attainable one :).
All relationships have their ups and downs. My relationship with running is proof of that — it’s been rocky. Don’t feel bad if yours has too.
Do you like running?
If you’re a healthy living blogger, do you feel pressured to enjoy running?