Back To Running

Motivation can be a wonderful thing, and although I believe that an individual can achieve just about anything, in the short term, a man has to to know his limitations. Those immortal words from Clint Eastwood have always stuck with me, and this was a situation where I should have heeded those words. Running is one of the loves of my life, and although I have never been in the kind of shape that marathon runners are in, one who was provided the inspiration for me to again start the activity that brings me so much satisfaction.

I had been running for several years, even conditioning myself enough to compete in 5k runs around town. I was never worried about winning; just doing a little better than the last time. And I was able to do that as well. It was a time when I was in the best shape of my life. Then I decided to start back to school, and the running-and exercise in general began to drop off, and eventually stopped all together. Between work and school, studying, lack of sleep, bad food and numerous other factors, by body had lost that conditioning that I had so proudly worked for. After I had completed school, it was my intention to get back to exercising-and to get back to the kind of running shape that marked my competitive 5k days. All I needed was a little motivation to get me off the couch and into my running shoes.

Ask, and thy will receive. There just happened to be young lady at work who mentioned she was training for a marathon. I was so impressed I was almost speechless. Anybody that had the kind of mind, the kind of discipline to accomplish such a thing already had accessed the potential to do anything in my book. Well, she was just training though. Not sure at the time what that actually meant. I can go out and run a mile and contend that I was training for a marathon as well. As it turned out, she really was training for all 26.2 miles. As the day approached, I wished her good luck the best I could. I was very excited for her, but I couldn’t relay that, office politics being what they are. After all, she was young, obviously fit, and very beautiful. I didn’t want to look like I was trying to come on to her, because I was not. I was genuinely excited about what she was about to acheive.

And acheive she did. She did it, and did it well. I can’t tell you how impressed and happy I was for her. But again, office politics being what they are, it was a very conservative congratulations. That’s a shame, because she achieved something great, and the congrats she received was a far cry from the way I actually felt. Maybe I can really tell her some day.

Her achievement was so impressive to me that it sparked that motivation I had been searching for to start running again. The mistake I made though is deciding to pick up where I left off. Yes, I just jumped on the treadmill and ground out 5 miles, despite the fact that I was several years away and 20 pounds heavier since the last time I covered that distance. And I paid for it. Lower back pain that extends to the buttocks was my punishment for not taking it incrementally. Now with a new 5k looming in a few days, I can barely walk, much less run. We’ll see what happens in a few days. But even if this run is a wash, at least I’m back in the game, and I have that sweetheart at work to thank for it. Funny where you find motivation. Or where it finds you. I don’t actually know this person very well, but she’s had a life altering effect on me. Going from my physically destructive school schedule to regular exercise and competitive runs is quite a change in schedule. And I’m very happy with the change. Maybe I’ll be able to tell her how her greatness has touched at least one life outside her circle. In the meantime, I’ll just take advantage of the motivational opportunity presented to me.

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