I had no idea.
I was a sixth grader after all. And Cross Country? The title alone gives no hint as to what the sport actually is.
So, at my mom's advice I signed up. A few weeks later I had my first running practice. That's right. Running. And I was hooked. For a good eleven years. Sure it wasn't always straight up running. I was more interested in jumping it turns out. But I always had to run at least a half an hour a day.
So what happened? As year eleven came to a close, so did any desire to tie on my running shoes. Running appealing? Nope. Not a bit.
I tried to become passionate about it again for over a year, but with no success. And then I found out I was pregnant with my son. Between work and home, running did not find a place. Then Shira was born, and life continued without running. I knew I needed to start exercising again. I could remember how being fit felt, and it was a far cry from the present. Another year passed, and still no running. Only now I had time. I had quit my job in January.
I was scared to start running again. Why? I think it came down to the worry that I would start, but would not be able to find joy in it. My final year of college track dried me up. My last meet put a cork on the "passion for running" bottle. I couldn't get it open, and pretty soon that bottle began to gather dust. When March 2010 came around, I kept trying to open the bottle, but at the same time I worried I may have lost my taste for it.
So I signed up for a half marathon. I know, right?
Yesterday morning I ran six miles. It took me 67 minutes. And I felt wonderful. Like I had smashed something.
Throughout the day memories of running surfaced. Sprinting off of the canal bank and into the Vale Rodeo Arena as a finish to my first race. Mud fights with teammates. Challenging back country horses to short running duels. A spontaneous midnight run in the snow with Ben, Jake, and Ryan. A stranger yelling, "Burn those calories!" at me through a megaphone as I ran through my neighborhood. Stopping to smell roses. Trying not to pop blisters.
Somehow I managed to make running fun.
It can be fun again.