There are several blogs I read almost religiously. One of them is Rachel Wilkerson. She’s smart, funny, skilled with a camera, and loves a good double entendre. She’s also a little dirty—in a good way. Rachel gives great advice, too. She’s kinda like a potty-mouthed Oprah.
Well, my girl Rachel has started a new movement that involves declaring your ownership. (A Ownment? Movemownt?) I told her that sometimes I feel like I’m just renting it because I’m not exactly sure of myself in a lot of different situations. I started thinking about the things that I “own.” I came up with a few, but this one resonates with me the most. I’ve been saying that I want to put up some more pages dedicated to my weight loss and how I started running, so this is just a little taste.
I started running about a year and a half ago. I’ve always loathed running. My heart would race, my chest would burn, my legs felt like they would give out under me…suffice to say, I’ve never really been an athlete. For goodness sake, I tore my ACL while I was at a summer camp for HONORS students. It takes a very special kind of nerd to do such a thing.
When I moved to Birmingham, I’d see all these people running. Everywhere. I hated them. Mostly because I was secretly jealous. I felt like they all had this club, this special private bond that I could never be a part of. I publicly wanted to hit them with my car, but truthfully, I just wanted to be them.
The aforementioned knee injury also contributed to an inability to be able to really run. But the desire was always tucked away in the back of my mind. I’ve had cycles of gaining and losing weight, being active and lazy, over the course of my life. In 2008, I hit the highest weight I’d ever been. I knew I needed to change something. I tried to change my eating habits, and I managed to lose a little bit.
2009 brought a New Year and new outlook for me. I started walking at lunch with a co-worker. I lost about ten pounds. In June, I took the step I’d wanted to take for a long time: I joined a gym and started the Couch 2 5k program.
It was tough. I mean, really tough. But I could feel myself getting stronger. It took a long time. Instead of the several weeks C25k outlined, it took me several months. But I’d had my heart set on running the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure as my first race and it wasn’t till October.
I ran it with walking breaks in 43 minutes. And I couldn’t have been prouder.
My second 5k took about 40 minutes. And I didn’t run the whole thing. I’m sorry I’m not sorry. (There was also snow on the ground.)
In February, I ran my first 5k without stopping in 35:21.
For me, that was lightning fast. (Snow on the ground for that one, too.)
In March, I ran my PR of 35:19. But better than that, I encouraged my sister, my friend Jennifer and my BFF Reagan to all run their first 5k, too, and they rocked it!
To date, I have done six 5ks and two 10ks. I hope to do a half marathon soon. I’m a runner. I know I am. I may not be fast, and I may not run the whole time, but I am a runner. I own this. I know this. I don’t care how fast I am, I still work my ass off for every second, every mile, every step. What’s that? The race can’t shut down till I cross the finish line? I’m sorry I’m not sorry. Pardon me, you want to know if I’m a runner or a jogger? Kindly step off; I’m not walking, am I? You think chubby girls can’t run? Don’t be ridiculous.
I’m not going to lie. I want to be faster. I want to lose weight, to strengthen my heart and increase my lung capacity. I enjoy running. Sometimes I get caught in the comparison trap and get frustrated because running seems to come so easily to everyone else.
But I own my slowness. Get on my level.