I think that providing a bit of background about myself will help to set the stage for my perspective on these reflections. So here’s some “about me.”
I am not now, nor never have I been, an athlete. I never played sports growing up. I took dance lessons for a few months. But I was like 4. It wasn’t my thing. I’ve always been a nerd. I’m cool with it. I read incessantly. I have played piano, viola, mallet percussion. I was in color guard. Don’t judge too harshly! We were a competitive field guard, running around doing tricks and throwing sabers and rifles in the air. My freshman year of high school we were the best in the North East! WOO! go ‘pool!
Anyway, I remember in high school thinking about wanting to join the track team. However, I never vocalized my desires and I was quite intimidated by the prospect of being on a team. Everyone else had been involved in sports since they were young, they were all in great shape, they all knew each other. I never got the guts to go for it.
Which brings me to my next point – a certain level of social anxiety (self-diagnosed, haha). I suppose you wouldn’t think it if you knew me, as I seem pretty out going. But, new situations and new people really make me nervous. For example, they moved all the weights around at my gym a week or two ago. I’ve yet to use them. I’m terrified of walking around looking like I don’t know what I’m doing! (side note: I’ve been going to this gym since 2006). Hopefully tomorrow I’ll put that fear to bed.
I am not competitive by nature. And, quite frankly, I don’t really get it. It’s just not who I am. When I see soccer players taking huge dives to stop a ball the first thing through my head is “why would you do that?! it hurts!” as opposed to “wow! great play” see – not competitive. Unless, of course, I’m trying to prove something to myself….
Why running? Well, anyone can do it. Right? Running doesn’t take a special skill. You don’t have to pay for classes. You need a pair of shoes and some determination. Also, I can do it by myself. That is very much a reason that I run. As I’ve learned more about the sport, I’ve set new challenges for myself. I enjoy running. I’ve even taken to ditching my music every now and again on outdoor runs. Sometimes it just annoys me. I can’t concentrate on what I’m doing.
I am no expert. I AM, however, pretty awesome at researching things. I have spent considerable time reading blogs, articles, books and chatting with people I know who are real life runners to find out what I can about the sport. It has led to some information overload (another post), but I’ve learned a LOT. A great deal of it has been exceptionally useful.
So now you know what I’m not. I’m not a social butterfly. I am not an athlete. I am not a competitor.
I am a runner. I will give myself that. I’ve adjusted my lifestyle, and am continuing to do so, to accommodate this recent love I’ve found for running. I look forward to it. I love it, I hate it, I want it, I need it. I crave the structure of training for an event. And I wonder how far this obsession will take me. That, I feel, is enough to classify myself as a runner – even if I’m still just a newbie.