It was a late September afternoon, and most had gone home from school, except for a gathering of ambitious teenagers. We gathered in the gym, seated on the floor around the coach. The cross country season was just beginning and we were excited to run.
“Who’s been running over the summer?” the coach asked. I shyly raised my hand. You see, I wasn’t an athlete. That’s what I learnt from my P.E. classes anyways. That I wasn’t an athlete and that I didn’t belong in the P.E. world. But something about running drew me in and I yearned to be a part of something different. It wasn’t like I didn’t have any friends. I was in band and choir, thus belong to a greater being- but there was something about running that called to me.
“What distance have you been running Katchur?” my coached inquired. “Seven minutes,” I meekly, but proudly boasted. She didn’t seem too impressed with this accomplishment, muttering along the lines of a LOT of work to do. But for me, the fact that I was out running at all was an achievement in itself. Seven minutes- wahoo!
I haven’t really been consistent with running over the years. Its been an easy way to stay active while travelling- a pair of running shoes and you can pretty much go anywhere. I found the pavement to be somewhat a dulling experience at times. The summers I waitressed in a pub on my feet all day sapped any energy remaining for pounding my feet along the road.
Although, between my high school years and now, there certainly has been a transition. Just the other day I went out for a “short run” of 2 hours. Succeeding a summer of the 50 miler ultra and several mountain runs, 2 hours is indeed a short outing. I had to stop myself and giggle, thinking back to the meek teenager sitting on the gym floor. Today I get grumpy if I only have an hours time to go for a run, but back then 7 minutes was monumental. Wow!
Time, exploration, and work has the powerful ability to transform a person. Its amazing to see how far I have come & hopefully to see how far I will go.