Photo By Josiah Mackenzie
I have never been great at sports that require a lot of coordination. Some people are just blessed with hand-eye coordination. I am not one of those people.
Awhile back I was talking to a friend who had started running. I used my old standby joke “I only run if someone is chasing me.” I had never had any desire to run. I have flat feet and have dealt with shin splints my entire life, so running never seemed appealing to me. But my friend encouraged me to give it a try, claiming that if she could do it, I could. So I decided to give it a whirl.
The great thing about running is that it doesn’t require anything fancy. No special equipment or memberships to clubs. All you need is a good pair of running shoes and the will to get out there.
The first thing I had to do was stop comparing myself to other people. (ALERT: Life lesson for all areas of life.) Once I stopped worrying about how fast or far other people run, I was much happier with what I was doing. There is a saying that is doesn’t matter how fast you go, “If you run, you are a runner.”
One way I got started was with the Couch to 5K training plan. As embarrassing as that name sounds, it’s a great program. It allows you to start slowly and build up to longer distances. That way you won’t get burnt out. I was able to avoid shin splints by focusing on proper running form, slowing down if I started to feel shin pain, and stretching before and after runs.
I have completed the program and plan on running a 5K in the spring. (I want to run my first race in nice weather. Don’t judge.) I can’t wait to cross one more thing off the bucket list.