Remembering Running Series, Part 1

Remember when you didn’t love running? Remember when you thought running 5 or 10 or more miles was crazy? I do.

Do you remember when you couldn’t imagine finishing a 3 mile run without walking? Do you remember how hard that first long run was and how you didn’t think you’d be able to do it? I do.

How bout the first person who introduced you to running?

I have so many memories about running, some good, some not so good and I’ve kept a journal for years. Sometimes I like to go back and look at my notes and see what type of training I was doing and how it was working but I also use it for motivation.

Sometimes it’s good to reflect and to go back and remember why it is that you love to run especially when you’re having a hard day or you need a little push to get your mojo back.

So, that’s why I’m starting the “Remembering Running” series. Each week for the next few weeks I’m going to post about a running memory and then you can leave your memories in the comments or you can post your memory on your own blog and do the same thing. I hope you all will play along with me.

So here goes, this is the first in the series, Remembering Running :

Do you remember who first introduced you to running?

I was a freshman in high school and my best friend was a girl named Emily. She lived next door to my Grandmother and I had known her for pretty much my whole life but we didn’t become friends until middle school.

Emily was much cooler than I was and she was hilarious. That’s probably the main reason that I was drawn to her. Y’all know I love me some people! Emily was also the first person to introduce me to bodily humor, fart jokes, poop jokes and the like. She was a rebel of sort, you know, back when we were 12.

Emily was almost 6 feet tall and I was extremely jealous of how athletic she was. She was an excellent swimmer, a great basketball player and she loved to run. It was Emily who convinced me that I should go out for the track team.

I wasn’t very athletic. I played softball with my cousins and I rode bikes and skateboards and I could water ski pretty well but running was not my forte. You know how it goes when you’re young and impressionable, you just jump right in and do it anyway. And besides, Emily was on the track team and that made the track team seem so cool.

So I signed up for the 400 and the 800 because that’s what Emily ran and I wanted to run with her. Unfortunately I was horrible but because the 800 was the longest distance in track and nobody wanted to run that far, I got on the team. I look back and just crack up at how we all thought the 800 was so flippin far, the 800!

I would love to tell you that I made improvements and went on to break all kinds of school records but in reality, I quit more races than I finished, I threw up on my coach on more than one occasion and I only managed to improve my time by mere seconds, three to be exact. Overall. Just three! That’s probably why when the team held tryouts the next year, I wasn’t invited back.

Despite my colossal failure on the track team, I did love running and I continued to do it on my own. I ran by myself for years before I ever attempted to race just because I truly enjoyed it.

I moved away from Tennessee many years ago and I’ve only seen Emily a handful of times since then but without her encouragement and that freshman aura of coolness that she had, I would never have started running when I did and I want to thank her for that. It’s been almost a lifetime love affair.

So, now it’s your turn. I challenge you Silent Assassin and Running with SD Mom.

Do you remember who first introduced you to running?