Thursday, May 30, 2013

Why did I start running?

This post is part of the 'Get to Know Us' series on The Callipygians blog.

Why did I start running?  For you to fully understand and appreciate how far I've come I think it will be best to paint you a picture.  Growing up I was this petite prissy girl.  I always had the perfect outfit, my big Texas hair was my main concern and I had zero interest in sports.  I thought sports were sweaty and unattractive so why would anyone want to do that to themselves?!  I actually “managed” the school sports teams to receive credit for physical activity throughout junior high.  The extent of my physical activity involved playing putt-putt on dates and running walking the 800 a few times during track season.  Seriously, two of my girlfriends and I walked the 800 meter race at a few junior high track meets.  I look back and think how embarrassing y’all?!  I was the furthest thing away from an athlete.  I did however excel in socializing and shopping.
I went to college and continued on with my prissy little life.  I went to class full-time and worked at a jewelry store.  I had a wonderful boyfriend, Tyler (my now husband), who also went to Texas Tech (guns up!) and worked full-time.  His job was high intensity physical labor at a tire service center.  In the evenings when we both got off work naturally we would go out to eat, as college kids do, at fast food restaurants.  Since he was working so hard and was a young 20-something man he had a HUGE appetite.  I started eating faster to keep up with him and my dainty portions were growing a little more each day.  It didn't take me long to realize that I had packed on that dreaded college weight.  Thankfully mine took a little longer than some to put on.  It wasn't the “freshman 15” it more like the “junior 15” but to me on my petite frame the extra weight was horrific and this prissy girl was freaking out.  
Getting a little chunky!
I had a wedding I was preparing for... I had to look perfect!  I ordered some every workout video with a convincing infomercial.  I started doing said videos between school and work.  I was cutting back on portions and after a few months I was starting to see a difference in my weight.  
One afternoon when I was short on time I decided I would go on a short walk around our apartment complex.  I wasn't breaking a sweat like in my videos so I decided to start jogging.  Surprisingly, I didn't hate it.  I broke a sweat and it was easy…. and hence a runner was born.  The entire summer break of 2004 leading up to my wedding I continued Teabo™ (my favorite infomercial VHS video find – yes, it was a VHS tape back then folks) and I also started going on runs in the evenings.  When I got married I was down to my lowest weight and was in great shape.  
Honeymoon 2004
I continued to run off and on over the years.  
It wasn't until after we had our first child that I ran in an actual 5K race. 
In August 2009 I was asked to help promote an event for a co-worker’s relative diagnosed with cancer.  I didn't even know what to expect when I showed up on race day but I knew I wanted to help.  We ran on a golf course and I think my time was over 40 minutes.  I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the great people that I met.  I continue to participate in local races and even inspired several of my family members to run a 5K a couple summers ago.
I keep running because...  Of course, just like the reason I started, I want to maintain a healthy weight.  As I’m getting older I think more about a healthy heart so cardio is essential and running is by far my favorite exercise.  I continue because I truly enjoy it.  I like it because it’s a solo sport and I can break a sweat anywhere without any equipment.  I only have to count on myself to get it done.  As a working mother of two “me time” is limited and I squeeze it in when it's convenient.  I cherish my moments out alone with my I-tunes up just clearing my head.  I think through personal goals and improvement while I run.  I pray for my family/friends and talk to God.  I tend to have a high anxiety personality so when life gets overwhelming, I hit the pavement and after a good run I can put things back into perspective and realize how truly blessed I am.
I need to add that I am not a fast runner.  I will never be a fast runner.  My 5K PR is right at 28 minutes - pretty average.  I am not a natural athlete.  I haven’t gone near the distance as my fellow Callipygians.  They all have multiple half marathons under their belts.  I’m training for my first 10K in June with hopes of building from there.  But if I don’t go any further than a 10K, I’ll continue to run 2-3 miles a few times a week and be proud.  Another big perk is I have this wonderful group of ladies supporting me!  Yolanda shared a quote a few days ago and it really rang true, “Look in the mirror, that’s your competition.”
Now you've read how far I've come.  From the girl that couldn't understand why anyone would want to work out to the girl that strives to run more, to sweat more and LOVES IT!  
How would you answer the question I run because....?

This post was part of the 'Get to Know Us' series on The Callipygians blog.
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  1. Rock on!!! You'll be amazing at your 10k and the running/racing bug will bite a little farther.

    1. Thanks Yolanda! You're a true inspiration.

  2. Great post! I love that the t-shirt from my race is represented!

  3. You're picture with Tyler are so cute! And you were NOT chunky and you always look great.

  4. You my dear are absolutely beautiful! I have always dreamed of being a runner and hopefully one day it will happen :)