Why I Run

Why I Run

I didn't take running seriously until now.
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I didn’t like long-distance running before, though I was always curious about it. When I was a little girl, I was the fastest kid in kindergarten. I could even beat the boys, which earned me a badass title among the other girls. As I got older I became less of a fan. I dreaded running the two laps (which didn’t even make one mile) around the school during P.E. I didn’t think too much about running afterward until I saw my cousin run. One day I accompanied her to the park where she would do an individual training session. My older cousin has been in cross-country and track, and at that time, she was training for XC season. I watched her as she effortlessly placed one foot in front of the other, she didn’t look like she was dying. Quite the opposite, she looked like she was enjoying the run and I was fascinated by it. I wanted to try too.

My experience was different. I was dying along with her. Though, she took the time to each me how to breathe. I remembered thinking, “There’s a different way to breathe?”

I didn’t get into running until my freshman year of high school. I decided to join the cross-country team for two reasons: one, all my family members are athletes of some sort, and two I used to run in my childhood now I want to learn how to do it correctly.

So, before I started training with the team I asked my running fanatic aunt to help me out. She, along with my track, cousin and my other cousin trained me in the Rose Bowl. At first, I couldn’t even run a solid 5 minutes. It was hard getting into the motion of running and at times I wondered why am I even doing this? I don’t like the sport! Why am I torturing myself? But slowly that one minute became two, then became four and so on. Suddenly I didn’t need too many breaks to catch my breath.

But I still didn’t fall in love with it.

I tolerated it.

Three months afterward I entered my first 5K run. I’d have to run 3.1 miles. I knew before the race began that I wouldn’t be able to run those miles non-stop, much less on time. But my cousin reminded me is not about how fast you go; it’s about finishing it accomplished. Though, running fast also helps.

Thanks.

I found out I could run 3.1 miles non-stop, and I felt great about it. I was dying, but I felt accomplished.

Unfortunately, it would be a long time before I had another experience. Due to many issues arising in my personal life, I didn’t continue cross-country… nor running in general. I only stumbled across it during P.E. where I couldn’t even run 1 mile anymore, and that made me sad. I became very stressed out, I gained a couple of pounds and overall didn’t feel good. I only rediscovered running once more in college. With the amount of stress of homework, essays and test I didn’t know what to do anymore. Music, which was my stress reliever in high school, wasn’t working anymore. I needed something else.

That’s when I put on those running shoes and went to the gym. I knew there’s no way I could run after years not doing so. I’ll have to start all over. So, I walked, and walked, and walked for weeks.

I’d added some hills. Some strength training and slowly a light jog. The more I exercised, the more relieved I felt and the more I wanted to keep going. Now, after three months, I once again can run 3.1 miles even 3.50 if I’m feeling up to the challenge.

Running has become a part of my routine; and a part of my life. I run to feel good. I run because I enjoy the feeling of being sore the next morning. I run because in each gaining step I am much further from where I started. I accomplished something.

I might not be the fastest runner out there, but I have the same heart for the sport. I don’t want to let it go.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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23 Things I've Learned In My 23 Years

And there will be many more lessons along the way.

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Turning 23 isn't a milestone birthday but this year has brought up a lot a reflection after going through a period of tribulations. We tend to forget the big picture of our lives that we just need to enjoy the ride and reflect on our growth as a person. Here are some things I have learned throughout the way.

1. Be more in the moment.

With life becoming monotonous, we are so fast paced and do not take a break to just breath and look around in our surrounds and embrace the moment we are in.

2. Check up on your loved ones more often.

A quick I love you or a text message goes a long way to know that you are appreciated and being thought of.

3. Embrace what you used to love as a kid again.

The greatest thing about being a child is fearlessness and imagination to be open to anything and we tend to lose that as we get older. To have back that feeling even for a moment is a moment of pure happiness.

4. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.

How are you able to do all the great things in life you want to accomplish if you don't take care of your body and mind.

5. You can say no a lot more than you think.

We tend to feel obligated to say yes and make others feel happy when at the end of the day it is our life and you can say no to situations that don't make you comfortable or if you're not fully committed to.

6. Take advice from a variety of people in your life.

People have come from different walks of life and have stories to tell that are different from you, listening is the most important trait you can have. Listen to people that have been on this earth longer, listen to children, list to the person who no listens to aswell.

7. Pet more puppies

No explanation, animals just need all the love in the world.

8. Expect your plans to change last minute.

Be flexible, as you get older holding relationships takes a lot more work so you have to be committed to seeing the people you care about.

9. Be more financially responsible with your money starting at a younger age.

Talke about money more, teach yourself about money responsibility so you are not worrying when you get older if you have retirement funds or not. You want to live a secure financial life then start young.

10. Staying at home with a glass of wine and Netflix can be more fun than the club.

It's not all hyped up to be. You save a lot more money, the drinks taste better, and you can watch your favorite shows in your pajamas.

11. You don't stop learning once you get out of school.

You're always learning every day. Also keep your brain sharp by reading, teaching others, and continuing your passion.

12. Your words have a bigger impact on people so be conscious of what you say.

Words can be remembered for a long time by a person and impact their lives, so be conscious of what you say to people that you surround yourself with. The words you say represent yourself.

13. Judgment from others comes from fear

When a person is judging you they are showing their own fears and projecting it on to you, so do not bear that fear onto yourself.

14. Pursue the life that you want

At the end of the day, it's your life so do what makes you happy.

15. It's not the end of the world if you're taking a little longer in the race called life, everyone has a different path

Everyone has a different journey to get to where they want to go. We tend to compare ourselves to what society's standards of where you should be at a certain age when there is no perfect time.

16. Take more pictures of moments

You won't regret it when you're 80 and looking back at old times

17. Open up to your spiritual side.

We all are looking for answers and a deeper connection, whether is God, meditation or Basketball. Connect with your spiritual side so you have a place to find your center in times of need and calmness.

18. You will fail a lot in your twenties and that's okay.

The twenties are a time for failures and learning from that so you can grow to be who you want to be.

19. Go outside in nature more

We are blessed to call this Earth our home and should enjoy what beaches, mountains, springs its has to offer for us.

20. Do your research and stand for what you believe in

Question everything and everyone and fight for injustices to make a change in this world.

21. Get out your comfort zone and learn something new

You will not grow if you do not fight out of your fears and into new possibilites.

22. Put yourself first

You are the most important person because you come into this world alone and leave alone so in order to tkae care of others and to have the life you want you have to put yourself first.

23. Dont compare yourself.

We do not see the full story of other people's lives, we do not see the hardships that they go through so when we compare we tend to think the grass can be greener. Instead of comparing appreciate your life and make your life what you want it to be.

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