The Reluctant Runner: (Volume 1) Lesson #1- Get off the Couch and Into Your New Life
December 28, 2011
By Franchesca Lane-Warren
I am currently in a love/hate relationship. We argue, we fight, I even cheat a little bit on my significant other but today I am going to “lay it all on the table” and hope we can get over this dysfunctional relationship I have with running. Nine months ago, I decided to lace up my old running shoes and hit the pavement (walking at first) so that I could be in better health. At first it was easy..I would go out and walk for about 30 minutes and I would feel accomplished. However when I decided to start a relationship with running it all changed.
You see I wanted to run..heck I needed to run. I was 225lbs and I felt trapped in my own body. I could not fit any of my clothes, I got winded quickly and I was sure that I would continue to gain unless I took drastic steps—fast. I decided I would run but I just could not MAKE myself get out of my house that first time running.
I got dressed, pulled my hair back but my feet were paralyzed from actually leaving my house and running. At first, I thought about all the reasons I could NOT run (it was too hard on my knees, I was too out of shape, black women don’t run). After realizing how stupid I sounded I made my way to the door to open it. Another terrifying thought came to my mind, “what if people laughed at me running?” Wow. That was a thought that nearly made me crawl back in bed and try again the next day.
I sat down and collected my thoughts. Without thinking any further, I bolted out the door to my first Black Girls Run! Atlanta neighborhood run. As I pulled up, I noticed that there were all types of women (big, small, short, skinny) stretching and getting ready to run. As I approached the group, I was welcomed by smiles so my nerves got better. I was going to run—reluctantly.
I finished the 3 mile run but I can’t lie…there were several times I wanted to literally run (and hide) until everyone went home and I could walk back to my car and never come back. But I didn’t. I kept going through the pain, through the discouraging thoughts and I finished. As I look back at that moment, I can now laugh (since I really am a runner now) but I also learned some important lessons about just getting out and hitting the pavement—even when you do NOT want to.
[caption id="attachment_2531" align="alignright" width="277" caption="Me in 2010"][/caption]
1. The longer you think about running, the longer you will NOT do it. Going to my first run (and all of my subsequent runs after) I realized that if I just did it I was more likely to RUN. Now when I have doubts about running, I just quickly put on my clothes and just bolt out the house and think about it later.
2. That even though I am in a love/hate relationship with running every time I RUN I feel better (mentally and physically). Whenever I have had a bad day, I hit the pavement and the negativity is left on the pavement.3. Running allows me push myself physically. After completing that first run I felt empowered, NOTHING could stop me—even myself. Nine months ago I was overweight and because of me getting off the couch and running I was able to not only shed 32 pounds but shed the self doubt that was in my head .
I recognize that there are other reluctant runners reading this that need a ten step program to reform their dysfunctional relationship with running. What is your relationship with running? Are you reluctant to run or are you a running machine?
Tune in next week as I discuss how a reluctant runner finds the courage to register for organized races.
Fran is the owner and head writer of lifestyle blog, www.bossygirl1980.com and lifewiththreekids.wordpress.com. You can find her on twitter @Bossygirl1980 reliving the good, bad and strange world of parenting.