This all started with a handshake.
Write a blog, she said. I’ll start a walking program if you start it, she insisted.
I’m a sucker for those who share my passions. Currently, it’s walking and running and I have the jug of Tide Sport and the dripping running clothes on hangers in my laundry room to prove it.
In another one of my long list of obsessions, I began running late summer of 2012. A friend had regaled me with stories of his success with the Couch to 5K program. The pounds were coming off. His doctor was happy. He was doing a happy dance on the scale.
And then there were two
Enter our middle child, then 12, who expressed a vague interest in joining her school cross country team. I’d already had to give up my first love (tae kwon do) because of ongoing shoulder problems that required two surgeries. Why not try running instead? Shoulders aren’t really involved, right?
We promptly loaded the Couch to 5K app on our iPhones. We updated our Pandora stations. We pulled old sneakers out of the bottom of the closet.
And we walked. Three times a week, we laced up and went outside after dinner.
First, we made the rounds around the blocks immediately near our house in a suburb notorious for neighbors walking their dogs all summer, then disappearing as soon as the weather gets nippy.
Boy did those first few minutes of running feel like they would never end. I was panting. I was hot. I was tired.
My daughter barely broke a sweat. After a few outings, she exuberantly declared, “Now I know why people run!” She’d found the runner’s high.
It eluded me. It taunted me. Then I got shin splints. Not to be deterred by pain (there’s a pattern here), I got new sneakers from the local running store. Then my knees started hurting. Bad.
No biggie. Got orthopedic inserts in my third pair of new running shoes (by now I knew the lingo).
We signed up for our first 5K: The Turkeyman Trot on Thanksgiving morning. It was a crisp day, the sky was blue and one of my friends was there running way ahead of me and waiting for me at the finish line to cheer me on. I have a picture of that morning on a shelf in my office. My daughter and I, our heads close together, with big smiles on our faces.
We finished the race together; ran the whole way. My Couch to 5K app log entry for that day says we ran it at an 11:51 minute pace. We felt like champions.
I’ve been chasing that feeling since that day.
Most days, it’s there. Just getting out feels like a huge accomplishment after a 10-hour day at work. I want to share those moments with you.
Reluctantly – albeit a bit of excitement-laced trepidation – I am beginning this blogging journey. May there be many more handshakes and steps taken because of it.