This weekend Rich and I flew back to Fayetteville, AR for a Crawfish Boil (our camera is broken, so I'll post pics when friends email them to me). I had 9 miles scheduled for Saturday, and while it was touch and go for a while Friday night as to whether I would make it up for the run or not (we stayed out til 1am, there were shots involved). Miraculously I felt pretty good when my alarm went off at 6am Saturday morning. I ate a Cliff Bar and headed out. I ran right around and through my undergrad campus, and it was a very nostalgic run.
Some sentimental places I ran by include:
-the dorm where I lived my freshman year (10 years ago, yikes!) and met Shelley, one of my best friends now
-the parking lot where I had my first kiss with the guy I dated for almost 3 years in college
-the park where said guy and I broke up and got back together when we were trying to figure out what we wanted in life during our senior year
-the house where Rich lived, a block away from the Pi Phi house where I lived, although we didn't know each other at the time, which also turned out to be the house where we had our first real kiss, and where I met my brother-in-law Russ (no comments from you Rusty!)
-the football, basketball and baseball stadiums where I cheered myself hoarse too many times to count at Razorback games
-the buildings where I took classes that changed the way I looked at the world, and the buildings where I took classes that I mostly slept through
-the recreation/exercise complex where I ran my first mile
I was a very unathletic child, and tried and failed at various sports including softball, volleyball and tennis. I was overweight and clumsy until high school, then I lost some weight (still haven't lost the clumsy though). In 9th grade PE, we had to run a lap around the track. I couldn't do it. I couldn't make it 1/4 of a mile around the track!! Well, I just assumed I sucked at running too, and crossed that off my list of things I would ever do in life. I tried out for, and somehow made, my high school dance team. That was my first successful athletic endeavor and I loved it. When I started college and met Shelley, we would often go walking together, but never running because in my mind I could never be a runner.
I started dating a guy named Gabe in the fall of my sophmore year, and we would go work out together. We would lift weights, and go to an indoor 8 laps=mile track. He would jog, and I would walk. As a little time went by I would jog a lap here and there, and sometimes even 2 or 3 at a time (I know, I know, it seems really lame now). One day we started off jogging together and I actually made it like 4 laps before I decided I was tired and should start walking. He encouraged me to keep going another lap, and I did. Then another lap, and I did. I made the amazing discovery that while, yes, I was tired, I could keep going without the tiredness increasing exponentially. I remember how in awe of myself I was as we jogged those 7th and 8th laps, and how I just kept saying to myself (and probably out loud) that "I just ran a mile, I can't believe I just ran a mile!!!!" I didn't instantly start running races or long runs, but at least a few times a week I would run a mile. I still distinctly remember that day so many years ago that formed the most basic foundation for the runner that I am proud to say I am today. While Gabe and I didn't last, my knowledge that I could be a runner did last....so thanks Gabe for encouraging me to run my first mile, the first of countless!! (*note-I'm 99.9% certain he won't ever read this, and I'll never tell him in person because we don't talk...but there blogworld...it's out there)