Friday, November 5, 2010

Meet Sal

I’ve always wanted to be a runner, but somehow my short attention span and a pile of lame excuses always get the best of me and I give up. In fact, I’ve never been much for regular exercising at all until I moved to DC. Don’t get me wrong, I’m reasonably active - I danced my whole life and dabbled (unsuccessfully) in intramural sports and the occasional yoga class. Nowadays, I spend about 30 minutes on the elliptical a few times a week, pretend to lift weights until I find myself awkwardly staring at others through the gym mirror, and take long walks around home sweet DC. I’ve done a little bit of everything here and there, but only once in my life have I found a consistent and rewarding way to stay healthy…

[Begin nostalgic flashback/cue Saved by the Bell dream sequence effects] Christmas morning of 2006 I half-heartedly mentioned my desire to run the Nashville Country Music Half Marathon. I was still adjusting to the “real world” post-college and running seemed to be the only logical way to balance a newly acquired full time work schedule with my empty bank account and my desire to stay active. At that point in my life, I had never run more than a few miles at a time and I wasn’t exactly taking myself seriously. Much to my horror surprise, my oldest brother (who completed the Marine Corp Marathon in 2003) was. He thought it sounded like a great idea, and before I knew it, I had challenged my entire family to run it with me.

It is a glaring understatement to say the next 4 months were challenging. I came up with an absurd list of excuses (company softball league injury?) to get out of running. Fortunately, my roomie at the time was running the half marathon too and she helped me keep my eye on the finish line. The training process was grueling (for me, at least), but through the support of my friends and family, and the knowledge that whomever came in last place among my fam had to foot the bar tab after the race, I found myself on I-40, driving to the race and trembling with fear. 

I finished in just over two hours and the sense of accomplishment was pretty stellar - the camaraderie among racers, the awesome bands at each mile driving me forward, friends and family cheering and waving posters – it was enough to convert me into a runner for life... 

And yet, I haven’t run more than a mile or two since (awkwaaard). I completely “fell off the wagon” and reverted back to my sedentary lifestyle where I count leisurely strolls as a workout. Over the years, I’ve come up with plenty of excuses to convince myself that I didn’t let myself down by slacking on my running. But there’s really no room (or reason) for lying to myself anymore. And now that I have an extremely pushy motivated running buddy, I’m 98 and ¾ percent sure I can do it.   

I am definitely not a natural runner. But I’m going to try my darndest. And hopefully, during that process, I’ll also learn how to live a healthier lifestyle and treat my body better. After all, it’s the only one I’ve got - and it's tired of eating goldfish every night for dinner. 


No comments:

Post a Comment