In the spring of 2015, my children were given a task. In order to qualify for their black belts in Tae Kwon Do, they would need to run two miles in under twenty minutes. So, I did what any supportive/pushy parent would do and recruited others to run with them. I am not a runner. I have never been a runner. In school when forced to run a mile, I walked it. When the final “time is up whistle” was blown, I walked back into the building while the gym instructor mumbled, “Fine, whatever, you can’t run a mile.” If running a mile was a requirement to passing gym class, I would have failed.
My daughter, however, could not be tricked into running with others. She would much, much rather sit on the bleachers and complain. So, eventually, I put on my “enthusiastic face” and started jogging with her. I knew there was no way that I could run the full time. But as she kept falling further and further behind, I realized that she (and I both) was going to need a lot of extra motivation.
And that is how my running journey began. One month later, I ran my first 5K (which, as a side note was a disaster and I ended up with such an injured back that I couldn’t sit up for a month). Not to be discouraged by a mere back injury (PS: this was the most painful long term injury that I’ve ever had in my life), I started back up running again in the summer. And then I started talking to my sister, and we thought, we should run a race together! That idea was postponed when she became pregnant, but I was determined at that point. I was going to run a half-marathon while I was still 40.
So, this weekend I did it. The weather was unusually amazing and I met my friend/co-worker at the starting line. Not only did I complete the half-marathon, but my overall pace was so much faster than I had expected. I had taken on a challenge that 12 months ago, I had never even contemplated.
Maybe 40 is not the end of youth. Maybe it’s just the beginning of a whole new set of adventures and challenges?
Comment below and tell me a new challenge that you have faced and conquered recently?