So, I have just recently begun reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. I know, it has been around for a while, but when your reading selection is limited to picture books with 30 pages or less, and that is all that time has allowed…well, you take what you can get. So, in my quest to read books that go beyond the 2nd grade level, why not begin with a book that in the title itself, describes me?
Now, although I am only 36% of the way through (according to the Kindle), I am finding comfort in the fact that there are others out there like me. And no, I am not comparing myself the the ultra fast Tarahumaran people. And no, I don’t run in bare feet or sandals (yet)…I do, however, relate to the absolute love for running.
In the book, It talks about how the Tarahumaran people, 50, 60, 70 miles into a race, are smiling and laughing…seeming to be having the time of their lives! When I read that, I had my own flashbacks of the many times I have felt that very same way. But before I expound on this, I want to switch gears for a second to talk about what all too many experience…the dreaded “burn-out.” Or for you non-runners, it could be equated to plain just hating to run.
As I mentioned in my earlier post, my “burn out” time was during my four years as a Division 1 college athlete. Just a dreadful, awful time. I remember walking to my various classes on campus, and dreading the 3 o’ clock hour, which was when practice was. Never mind the final that I had to take, or the term paper that was due. 3 o’ clock was on my mind. I remember very vividly, the pit that was in my stomach. It didn’t matter if it was going to be hills or an easy run. To me, it was all the same…dreadful. Rather than looking at my watch and counting down the hours until I got to run (which is what I do today), I would count down the hours until I knew practice would be over. It was the only way I got through it.
The very same thing could be said for races. I would wake up the morning of a meet, and think to myself “by this time tomorrow, it will all be over, and I will be on my way home.” And to be honest, home was just as stressful, because I knew that tomorrow, I just had to do it again…
Here are some pictures from that time. Just looking at them makes all those feelings come back.
I remember having a moment of awakening, where I was mad at myself for letting other factors get in the way of what I loved. I cheated myself out of what could have been four wonderful years. All that aside, knowing what it feels like to be there, I know that I will NEVER go back.
…Now that I have brought you down, time to bring you back up!…BECAUSE…I came out of it, and with a VENGEANCE! Now, I watch the clock, and count down until 3 o’ clock, because it is the time Adam gets home from work, and I get to do what I love! (Quickly, I have to say, that the counting down time is filled with being a mom and a preschool teacher, which are two other things that bring me indescribable joy 🙂 )
My long runs fly by! I love running hills! I love doing speed work! And I love running in the wind, rain and snow! All of it reminds me of the fact that I am alive!
And on race day, boy, do I get excited! Rather than looking at others on the starting line and measuring up, stressing out the competition (which is what I did in college), I am so grateful to be running with such wonderful and talented people! (Wow, do I sound like a goober! Oh, well…I love to run, so what if it has turned me into a sap!) One thing that has remained the same, is that I still look forward to going home afterward. I can’t wait to hug my husband and kids, and spend the rest of that awesome day with them!
I don’t have many pictures, but here are a couple that hopefully illustrate what I am talking about..
I remember being at mile 16-17 of the St. George Marathon, and feeling so good and so happy, that I just had to say to the guy next to me, “isn’t this fun?!” It was fun! It was natural! It was what I was born to do!
Here’s my favorite quote from the book, so far:
“…How do you flip the eternal switch that changes us back into the Natural Born Runners we once were? Not just in history, but in our own lifetimes. Remember? Back when you were a kid and you had to be yelled at to slow down? Every game you played, you played at top speed, sprinting like crazy as you kicked cans, freed all, and attacked jungle outposts in your neighbors’ backyards. Half the fun of doing anything was doing it at record pace, making it probably the last time in your life you’d ever be hassled for going too fast….That was the secret of the Tarahumara: they’d never forgotten what it felt like to love running.”
~Christopher McDougal, Born to Run