When I was 11 I stood on the side lines of the Nike Women’s 8K to cheer my mom on. Instead of feeling proud of her, I felt FOMO. I saw all the women at the finish line glistening from exerting themselves, picking through finish line bananas and congratulating each others with such a look of deep personal satisfaction. From the other side of the fence, I’d never felt so left out of a community I didn’t even know I wanted to be a part of.
When I got home, I announced I wanted to become a runner. I didn’t own any “Real” running shoes so I grabbed an old pair from my mom (I had big feet for an 11 year old) and my parents instructed my brother to take me on a run – safety in numbers. He didn’t run either, but by way of being 3 years older than me, he was just naturally faster.
One first “Run” we started “Fast” and ended walking – running was not as fun as those finish line ladies made it out to be
Our next run felt even worse.
I kept wanting to try and reluctantly my brother would keep taking me.
Eventually we could run the whole 4km without stopping.
Eventually I became a running equal with my brother.
And as we kept going, eventually he started bringing his bike – it was my goal to be a runner, after all not his.
Soon enough I was a runner. I was the youngest person in my local sun run clinic. Where we worked towards running 10 whole kilometers.
Why reflect on this? Because I remember. I remember what it was like to start running and for lack of a better word, it was terrible. Being a runner is delightful. I see the world with my own two feet. I connect deeply with the people and environment around me. I have an outlet to solve the worlds problems, my own problems, a place to listen to often playlists and an excuse to eat just about anything I want. Becoming a runner was hard. If you’ve started running and it doesn’t feel like the finish line club I first described, know that it didn’t for me either.
Keep at it anyway.