Saturday, October 22, 2011

I've Found My Sport

I never thought of myself as an athlete. I don't watch sport on TV. I don't read Sports Illustrated. I would much rather read the entertainment section of the paper than the sports section. I watch the Super Bowl for the commercials and the company. I spent most of my teenage and adult years hiding out whenever a football game would break out on the lawn or guys would start shooting hoops. It's just not my thing. I don't like it. I don't want to do it. I feel stupid and awkward.

But at 40, I've finally found my sport.

Back in February, after having lost almost 70 pounds, I got this crazy idea in my head. I wanted to run. Some friends encouraged me, I bought some shoes, I found the Couch-to-5K running plan, and I was off!

I ran my first 5K on May 14: The Full Moon Run. Luanne and Josh joined me, and it was a really exhilarating experience. I finished in 28:10.

After that came the hottest summer of my life. I tried to stay indoors as much as possible, and I was pretty discouraged in my running. But the moment the weather cooled off, I was back out there, training for my next race with the Bridge-to-10K running plan.

On October 1, I ran the Tulsa Zoo Run. It was a 10K, and I ran it in 57:20.

I love this sport because it's not a team sport, and it doesn't have to be competitive. It's just me and the road... and the next goal. I push myself to see if I can go the next distance. If I can run 3 miles, why not 4? How about 6? And if I can run 6, then surely I can run 7. And you know what? It's true so far... Just this morning, I ran 8.5 miles, my farthest distance yet. Now I know I'll be ready for my biggest challenge so far... the 15K (9.3 miles) Tulsa Run next Saturday.

Running is bringing a lot of joy into my life, and I am a grateful man... I'm healthier than I've ever been in my adult life, and I'm loving the challenges and the disciplines of this amazing sport. Next up, a half-marathon... and then I think I'll be on track to run a marathon sometime next year! Miracles...
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