Growing up, I was your typical nerdy kid: not particularly interested in sports, would much rather read a book than go for a bike ride, and the annual presidential fitness challenge was murder. I could barely make it through the mile run. I was chubby, although bless my parents for not harping on it too much.
Not much changed in high school, until my senior year. My best friend had started running and was on the cross country team. She talked me into joining her for a few runs and then talked me into joining the indoor track team in the winter. I loved and hated every minute of it. But, I stuck with it and was soon able to run a decent mile time and started to be involved in relays. Thankfully my school didn’t have a very big or particularly good track and field sports program. Otherwise, they would have never let me join. But, they did and I got a great experience out of it – I learned that I could do something I never thought I could do and I met people I would not have gotten to know otherwise. And, my personal best mile time? 6:52. For me. that was awesome.
I kept up my running in college, although more for stress relief and fitness than for sport. I ran some 5ks and a few 10ks. And, then, I slowly stopped. My arches had fallen early on as a result of my running, my knees were very unhappy and my hips never quite forgave me for the constant pounding on pavement. I forget all of these things, though and still remember the wonderful feeling I got when I reached that point in my run where I knew I could just keep going and going. I’ve tried a few times to get started again, but no less than five areas of the body pipe up in protest. I have not cut fitness out of my life, though. Mr. X and I belong to a gym (I’m loving the elliptical machine) and I also walk the G twice a day.
The thing is I have no intention of taking up running again and I make no apologies to myself about it either because I know that I could and did do it. Been there, done that, got the (race) t-shirts.
There are some things that I will probably never do nor do I care to do. I’m terrified of heights, so no jumping out of airplanes or bungee jumping off of bridges. I will probably never run for political office, or manage the campaign of someone who would. I will never be a doctor or an architect. And, that’s perfectly fine with me, I appreciate the occupations from a safe distance.
Parenting? I would like to give it a try, but I am afraid that I will start down that road and think, “Danger! Danger! Terrible mistake! Must get out of here! This is not me! This is not who I am!”. And, even if I have those thoughts, I wouldn’t be able to do anything about them. Having children is a lifetime commitment, more so even than marriage. You can’t wake up one morning and decide that today, you just aren’t going to parent (except maybe in Nebraska). The problem is, I can’t guarantee that I won’t ever have one of those mornings.