On July 8, 2013 I made a decision to change my life. I’d led a sedentary life for the previous 20 years and I’d become fat, unhealthy, and unhappy. I remember very vividly stepping out of the shower one morning and just staring at myself in the mirror. I was very unhappy with the man who was looking back at me, so I made the decision to make changes. It was at that moment that I knew I was going to have to go to work on myself.
I found healthy meal suggestions online and immediately changed what I was putting into my body. I set out the next day and set out to go on an eight mile bike ride. My hip hurt when I rode my bike, so I pedaled back home after only making it a mile from the house. The next morning I set out on the bike again and pushed through the pain so I could make it the eight miles that I’d set out to cover. The pain in my hip was still there and I knew that I couldn’t keep forcing the bike riding lest I injure myself. But I was committed to the work that I’d signed on to do. I decided that if I couldn’t ride my bike, I would go out the next day and see if I could run a mile.
On July 11, 2013, I walked to the middle school track up the hill from our house and I ran one mile. I pushed myself hard in that mile. I remember getting starry tunnel vision in the last 300 meters and damn near collapsed after I hit one mile.
I walked after I hit one mile so I could catch my breath and let my heart rate settle down. What I’d done had hurt, but I knew that’s what I’d signed up for. I knew the process wasn’t going to be easy. And that’s when that “runner’s high” set in. That one mile didn’t kill me and my hip didn’t hurt.
I decided that I’d go out again the next day and run one mile again, but I’d run it slower. I decided that I would teach myself how to run. I would take my time and I would train so I could learn to run longer distances and gradually increase my speed.
Ten years ago today I became a student and I still learn something about running and myself every time I set foot out the door.