Gym class was my demise. I was a goody-two-shoes in every aspect of my life, except gym class.
I had asthma and allergies. I lived with parents who smoked and large, hairy dogs. I was a walking Kleenex ad.
When I refused to go to school in 7th grade, you can bet it was on a gym day.
When the class was told to run the mile in 8th grade, guess who walked, slowly?
Give me a pencil and paper in gym class and you really created a monster. When we started the bowling unit during junior year, I was the one who wrote “Mac Bites” on the score sheet. Mac was our female gym teacher’s nickname—are you starting to see where I was coming from?
It wasn’t until I hit my thirties that I really started to become physically active. I live in a smoke-free home with a hypoallergenic pet. My asthma is well managed and my allergy symptoms are nearly non-existent.
I didn’t start running because I found the activity itself enjoyable. I started running because I wanted to coach Cross Country at the middle school in which I teach. I started running because I wanted my pre-thirties figure back and I knew I would have to work for it. A good friend (with a good figure) told me she doesn’t enjoy working out, but she works out because she craves the feeling she gets after working out. It was that idea and that idea alone that got me going and kept me going for a long time.
Even today, as we pulled up to the gym, I turned to my husband and said, “I’m not really feeling this running thing today. I have a headache. I think I’m dehydrated.” I started building up excuses to push myself less than usual. Though, somehow, I dragged myself in. I got on a treadmill. I walked.
But today was different. Today, I surprised myself. Walking truly wasn’t enough. I needed to run. I never thought I would say or think that, much less feel it. But it’s true. I need to run. I’ve been running on the treadmill regularly for years now. Out of obligation. Out of necessity. Not out of the pure joy of running.
One of the t-shirts our Cross Country team considered getting this fall (from from http://imagemarket.com/), carried the mantra that I realized today is true for me:
“I love to run. It makes me smile. I think I’ll run another mile.”
I love to run.
a quote from my favorite author
“The most solid advice, though, for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”
-William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze