Today is my birthday. I am thirty-eight.. I am thankful to reach this age because there was a time that I didn’t think I would reach it due to my poor health. As part of The San Francisco Marathon Ambassador Team, the post below was published on their blog.
I get asked many times why do I subject myself to running. Isn’t it painful? Don’t you get bored running so long on the weekend? My short answers: yes, it is sometimes painful and no, I don’t get bored on long runs.
In all seriousness, here is my story. In my twenties, I caught the running bug. I completed various 5ks and 10ks races. My doctor told me that it was too risky to keep running due to my weight and high blood pressure. Heartbroken, I stopped and became a couch potato who developed diseases like diabetes and high cholesterol. It was a low point in my life and my health paid a price for my inactivity.
Three months into my weight loss journey in 2011, I sought out running to beat boredom of the treadmill. I drove to a local path in San Mateo, CA and started to jog. I was huffing and puffing after a couple of minutes and would walk a little. Then I would run again. The next thing I knew, I ran two miles. Honestly, it hurt. My legs ached and lungs were burning, but I will never forget the feeling of pure joy while running. I felt alive and excited to tackle something so simple. Something I wasn’t feeling much of at that point.
Two and a half years later, I still feel joy and excitement whenever I lace up my shoes and walk out the door. Besides joy and excitement, running fuels my sense of adventure, strengthens me in times of trial and comforts me in times of sadness. How could you not possibly fall in love with it? I was given a second chance and never take it for granted. As cliché as it sounds, running is truly a gift. When I lack motivation, I remind myself what it was like to not be able to run. This reason alone, snaps me into the present and I am back out on the roads in my happy place.
So bring on the training miles, hills and fog. I will be the one out there soaking it all up because I don’t want to miss out on a magical gift.