I didn’t start running until I was in my early twenties. In fact, I never liked exercising until college. After I broke up with my ex-boyfriend my freshman year, I moped around until sophomore year when I decided to hit the gym and try out this thing people call “adrenaline.”
I was hooked on the elliptical and the stationary bike but looked at the treadmills with a wry smile. I didn’t even glance at the track. But my last year of college, I ran a mile around the track. And then two. But that was that.
I moved to Indonesia to teach full-time after graduating and through the stress I started to explore different ways to challenge my body. I started “training” for a 5k race and in 2013 I ran my first race.
3 years later, here I am with two half-marathons down and planning on running a full marathon before I turn 30. How time changes you.
People ask the same questions when I tell them I’m running a race.
The first is: Why?
The second is: What do you think about?
The first question is easy. It makes me feel strong. Like I’m in charge of my body. I can’t really control a lot of things in my life but I can control each mile I run.
The second is a bit more complicated. I think about a lot of things. I think about life, I think about my problems… but if I’m being completely honest, I think about how tired I am. I think a lot of runners think this because let’s get real – running hurts. Your legs hurt, your arms hurt, your entire brain is screaming, “Why???” (refer to question 1 here).
But the deeper meaning is what gets me. I think of how it hurts and why I do this, but the reality is, the further I go, the closer I get to the finish line. No matter how bad it is, at some point it’s going to get better and things are going to be ok. Step by step it’ll get there. And that’s why I run.