The truth be told, I actually hated running. I wasn’t very active in either grade school or high school. I enjoyed a good game of squash while in university but never thought of going for a run. What got me started was my health: in my mid-20’s overweight at 225 lbs with a 42” waist, I was heading into a bad place. I knew I had to do something and running seemed simple enough.
For my first run I pulled on a pair of beat up sneakers and found an old pair of sweat pants…that wasn’t hard, it was my usual at-home look. I paired that with a hooded sweater over multiple t-shirts. It wasn’t cold, but with the hood up I didn’t want to be recognized as I plodded through the neighbourhood. In the dark at night!
With all the naïve optimism I could muster, I kissed the kids goodnight and headed out for my very first ‘long’ run.
It started well enough down the driveway. And thankfully the route I chose for that first run was downhill. This was not going to be so bad after all.
That was until I ran out of breath about 100 yards into my ‘long run’. I had to stop. I was bent over gasping for breath.
I walked for a while until my breathing got back to normal. Started running again, shuffling actually. I was not going to be beaten. Unfortunately I didn’t make it another 100 yards. My lungs were about to explode out of my chest. I desperately wanted to sit down this time.
“This was a DUMB idea”. The only reason I kept going because if I quit then and returned home, it was going to be tough to explain this 10 minute ‘long run’.
With a combination of shuffling and walking I actually made it around my planned circle route back to the house. Sprinted…OK, shuffled faster…up the hill back to the house.
I changed out of my sweats immediately. And the pain! I didn’t go out again for a week.
I stuck with it though. I found I enjoyed the ‘alone time’ while running. After a while I noticed that I spent more time running than walking and my breathing became less laboured. The ‘magic moment’ when the labour while running turned to love of running occurred when I got into a size 40″ pair of pants! I have ‘run everywhere’ since then. While on holidays, business trips and on vacation. A big moment for me was finishing my first Reggae Marathon last year.
What I learned to love about running was the simplicity of it. You don’t need any special talent, lessons or practice to get started. You can do it anywhere, anytime for your personal reason.
Why do you run? If you have a running story you’d like to share, we’d love to hear from you.
Until next time…
Chris Morales, that running guy.