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Saturday, August 30, 2014

What If I Hadn't Started Running?

Three years ago I was 190 pounds and I was unhappy with myself.  I watched a friend lose her daughter to leukemia at the age of 9, another friend lost her husband to a car accident (they had two young daughters the same age as mine.)  I finally realized that life was precious and I was wasting time and regretting it.  I decided that I wanted to start running.  I didn't know anything about running and I couldn't run any further than about two mailboxes on my road.  That's how I measured distance.... mailboxes.  I'd run two mailboxes, walk for two mailboxes.  I repeated that until I couldn't breathe or my shins hurt too much to continue.

The funniest thing happened.  It became easier and I could run father.  I saw an add for a program that allowed me to raise money for a charity and in turn run half marathon with their support.  I never imagined that I could run that far, but my new motto was, "Live Life with No Regrets."  I signed up and never looked back.

I didn't lose much weight during that training, but I gained a lot of confidence.  I took some time off after the 1/2, but eventually I got back to it and I added a decent diet as well.  I started reading about other runners turned triathletes and thought about my own swimming and biking experience and decided I had the ability to do all three sports, so why not?

So, a triathlete was born.  

It's amazing to me as I tell this story how easily everything just seemed to flow and fit together.  Life changes and all you have to do is take one step.  I decided it was time for change and I went for it.  I can't imagine my life without running, swimming, and biking.  I would be so bored!  Since starting I've lost 40 pounds.  I feel great and I enjoy life.  

The thing is.... I'm still looking for my place.  I need to know where I fit in.  Yes, as an adult, I need acceptance.  My running friends don't understand why I would want to be a triathlete and so while they support me, they don't always want to train with me.   My triathlete friends are limited because I'm still "slow" and I'm not elite enough to fit in with the fast members of the team I am a member of. I'm still looking for my place to belong.  I go to races alone and I support myself.  I'm slowly meeting new people and I will find my place, but it's like starting all over in life.  

Someone once told me I'm having my mid-life crisis.  Perhaps I am!  But it's a damn good mid-life crisis if you ask me.  If I can redesign myself and start over with the best me I can be, I'm happy, even if it means meeting a whole new set of friends.  

I'm pretty happy with the journey though!

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