Beginnings aren’t always easy, regardless of what it is. Starting an article can be tough, and even picking up a sport you were once so dedicated to isn’t easy. I used to be an avid runner for years, but the passion slipped away when I began college. Despite my lack of running, there hasn’t been a day that I haven’t thought about it.

But I’ve recently picked it up again and it wasn’t easy, like I expected. I’ve held onto my running gear through the years: shoes, clothes and watch. Even though it was all at arm’s length, I couldn’t muster myself to start running again, a main reason being the tough beginning.

I’ve had my fair share of building my cardio up from zero. Simply taking a few weeks off can impact your fitness. Injuries can also set you back for months. Instead of running with your team, you’re left behind with your swollen ankle knowing you’ll have to start all over again when it’s healed.

Getting back into running is like breathing in water -- it burns, it’s uncomfortable and you want to escape it. My lungs feel like I’ve set them on fire when I hit the pavement again. I’m out of breath easily and my legs can feel heavy at times. Despite the overall negative experience, one thing is important to remember -- it gets better. With consistent practice and fueling, running becomes second nature again.

It’s been a month since I started running again and I feel great. It’s still not easy, especially in the summer heat, but my lungs no longer hurt and I’m even breathing in a rhythm again. The beginning will always be the toughest. Getting up in the morning and knowing it’s time for a run isn’t always pleasant. But it’s worth it.

Starting anything at any time is challenging -- writing a paper, applying for a job, texting a new friend, etc. But once you take the first step, literally and figuratively, you’ll realize there was really nothing to worry about.

As for running, I’ll always come back to it and endure the initial pain. Patience and consistency are important during this period. Perhaps, in a year from now, I’ll be back to where I used to be or even be better.