For years I have said that I can’t run. I have always had reasons to back this statement. My knee surgery when I was 20 years old is a reason I have used for over a decade now. The fact that I grew up with asthma is another reason that I have given. Both of these things are facts about myself but they are simply obstacles to overcome and not reasons to confirm that I cannot do something.
I don’t know that I could pinpoint why I started this up, but I have had a general desire to get and stay in shape. A great deal of walking with a little jogging thrown in is a reason I lost 25 lbs over 3 years ago and it worked because I enjoyed it. While that was a positive experience, it is important to me to stay active and healthy now so that I am not repeating that again down the road. I enjoy the simplicity of running and that it requires very little more than a good pair of shoes.
I got started and bought myself a good knee brace because let’s face it, I have absolutely zero desire to see another surgeon in my life. While they are incredible people, I have personally been seen by three and that is simply too many for my taste. I started this little journey slowly. I walked with a little jogging here and there as before. I ran with my mom who quite frankly whooped my butt when this whole thing started. I gradually added in more and more jogging to see how far I could go without stopping but it was still a fairly short distance. This is when I decided that my first goal would be to run a mile without stopping. If it is a 12-13 minute mile, so be it, but a mile with zero walking was the goal. I was starting to think I was not going to get there.
I am fairly certain I have said the words “Oh I could never run a mile, I don’t know how people can do that!” These words are no longer true. With a little over 11 minutes to my time, I ran without stopping, my first mile ever at 33 years old. What arrogance I had to say I simply can’t without giving the endeavor everything I had first. The reason I did this is as simple as this, I was tired of saying that I can’t so I focused on the goal and I made it happen. The thought of stopping at the half mile mark was tempting but I told myself that I could do this and I pushed on. I threw my hands up one day and said I can instead of I can’t because I was sick of saying that this was not something I could do.
To ensure that this was not a fluke, I went ahead and did it again for the second time and I intend on keeping this up. What I have learned so far is important as well. My legs can get sore, but it is not my legs that are holding me back, it is my lungs and my breathing. While I have to be careful of my knee, it is my lungs that complained the loudest when I gave this a go. Running has a tendency of bringing out the asthma in my lungs but in this area I am well versed. I know not to push myself where I shouldn’t. I will continue with caution and work on some better breathing while I run, but I do not have to let it stop me. My lungs did much better with a little help the second time and with some better breathing. I felt empowered. This may be a small accomplishment to many, but to me it was a step towards removing that pesky word “can’t” from my vocabulary.