You remember that kid in your gym class that always got picked last for teams? The one who couldn’t run a quarter of a mile without wheezing? The one who couldn’t throw a ball straight to save their life? Yeah, that was me. I never really had much physical coordination. When I was in pretty school (pre-school for you people who weren’t obsessed with fairy tales), my teacher told my mom that since I was ambidextrous it caused confusion with handedness and coordination. My mom put me in ballet class when I was 3, because I couldn’t walk around without running into walls, door frames, and various objects of furniture. It helped me fake some grace, but I never really grew out of that propensity to run into things. As I grew up, I continued dance class without distinction. I played soccer but was more interested in the butterflies than the ball. The only place I excelled was int the library. I preferred the company of books to any sport out there. I would happily sit inside, reading one of the four to five books I usually had going at any one time. In fact, when I was 12 the library in the small town in which I grew up created a “Young Reader of the Year” award just for me. The only place I felt physically comfortable was the swimming pool. I swam breaststroke for a year on our small town’s swim team before we moved to a small city, where the swimmers were much better than I. I also loved to ride my bike around town, mainly down to the convenience store to spend my allowance on candy. As an (alleged) grown-up, I still love to swim and ride. A few years ago I bought a Pinarello Galileo and got into long distance cycling. Since I’ve moved south, I haven’t had the opportunity to ride as much (mostly due to lack of knowledge of safe bike trails) but that will be part of my cross training.
So why on earth do I want to run? Part of it is because it’s something that doesn’t come naturally to me. Part of is is that my great-grandfather won three Olympic gold medals. Part of it is to get in much better shape, as my body has gotten used to swimming and cycling and responds well to running. Part of it is because I’ve never, ever thought of myself as an athlete and it’s always something that I’ve wanted for myself. And part of it is because I think I can’t do it.
A lot of people I know have recently been participating in the Couch Potato to 5K program. In 9 weeks, they claim that you’ll be able to run 3 miles straight. I find this incredibly hard to believe because even as an adult, I’ve never been able to run more than 1.75 miles straight. But I’m willing to give it a shot. If I’m successful with this one, there is a 5k to Half Marathon plan as well. I’m thinking about one of the Disney Half Marathons, but there is a 5K in Loudon, TN on July 23rd that is my goal race. I’ll start training this coming Sunday, May 29th. I’m writing this to keep myself accountable and to maybe help myself along a bit. It’s not going to be easy.
Not in the least because I broke my wrist a week ago.