It all started in 9th grade when I played basketball. I though that was my thing until one of my coaches pointed out that I was way better at chasing my opponent on a breakaway than I was shooting any foul shot.
I was fast.
So I joined spring track. At first it was torture. I, like most freshman girls, want to be a sprinter. I liked races that were over in less than thirty-seconds and required quick workouts. Instead, I was forced to go on “long” runs and train for middle-distance. I remember not being able to run more than twenty-minutes at a time; my legs would be burning, I could barely breathe, and did not understand how even growing up as an athlete, I could barely run two miles.
But the human body is incredible, as is the human mind. If you think you just can’t run, you’re wrong! So….long story short, I excelled. I fell in love with both track and cross-country. Can’t you tell??
Our 4×800 relay even made it to NY States my junior year. Big deal stuff.
Anyways, I graduated highschool and decided that the competitive streak in me was over. I was looking forward to a life that didn’t include daily practices: runs, workouts, lifting, stretching, pain. I stopped running for a while, but soon realized that I missed something. It wasn’t the track meets, the metals, or the nerves. I had enjoyed all of that but had moved on from it. I simply missed the act of running.
Since I stopped running on a track team, I have learned to love running more than I ever had. I have found a way to run (almost/kinda) every single day for the past five years on my own accord, and it never has seemed like something I have had to do. It’s simply a part of me.
I’ve run every loop possible in Northport, through the trails on Long Island’s State Parks, on resort grounds in Puerto Rico, through my campus at the University of Ghana, and on the busy streets of Manhattan. I’ve run through the Adirondack woods, the awfully-humid air near my grandmother in Florida, and on countless treadmills in gyms at Skidmore and in Washington D.C.
I run because it makes me feel wonderful. Yes, you can reach a point where you can run for an hour and not be in pain; it actually feels great. While I run I think about EVERYTHING, and my thoughts are usually full of motivation and optimism. And after? Pure adrenaline and endorphins up the wazoo.
And sweat. Lots of sweat.
They say running is not a sport–it’s a lifestyle. Whoever “they” is…..well, they’re right.