Running, My Unexpected Outlet

“Wait. Wait. Come and do WHAT?”

That was my response, as I stood there drenched in sweat, out of breath, wide-eyed, and with my mouth open, staring at my friend as we finished our weekly cardio-aerobics class. The instructor just announced to us that she was moving away, and that this would be our last class. We had both been attending this same fun, challenging class for the past two years, and had looked forward to it every week. Needless to say everyone was heartbroken for it to end.

“Aww … You should come check out this run group. They meet the same time as this class. It would be a great replacement,” suggested my friend, who had noticed my sad disposition.

I stood there, looking in the huge gym mirrors in front of us - slightly overweight - as I had gained weight after being put on hormonal medicine by my doctor -- which I later stopped taking because of the poor side-effects. Also, after just leaving a toxic and unhealthy relationship and experiencing major career uncertainty, I was feeling a bit disconnected. Overall, I just wasn’t myself.  I knew I had to act fast and try to bounce back to a healthier state of being.

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It just didn’t seem logical - asking me, who was a girly girl that lived for her high heels, fancy dresses, and makeup - to do something athletic. Even though I had taken dance classes off and on throughout my life, had done musical theater and other performing arts, I was FAR from THAT type of world - sweat, Gatorade, physical endurance - a world that felt like something straight out of a commercial.

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Well. Alright. I had nothing to lose. I could at least give it one try until I find another class. Then I simply don’t have to go back. No worries. Right? ............. WRONG!

Well to my surprise, not only have I really grown to enjoy the sport of running, I find it quite meditative. Throughout all the heavy breathing, discomfort, and accelerated heart beats, I find myself in a state of solitude - mentally solving certain problems and coming up with new creative ideas. Hitting a “reset” button somewhere deep within.

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As my feet hit the concrete *POMF*...*POMF*… I’m thinking to myself, “Hey maybe I should go to my boss and ask for the raise”... *POMF**POMF*, “Ya know Katherine, I think it’s time to actually end that toxic relationship” ... taking long deep breaths as I’m pushing myself, putting one foot in front of the other …*POMF* ... POMF*... "Hey, why don’t you submit your art to that festival? You’ve got admirable work out there.”

Just like the little engine that could- I think I can, I think I can. Wait. I KNOW I can. The next thing you know, I’m heading towards the finishing point, steps away. Feeling GREAT!!

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So not only did I also go back the NEXT Monday, I started showing up on Thursday nights for speed work too! Then later, found an awesome, encouraging, and dependable run/walking partner on Saturday mornings (and our group is slowly growing)! That’s now, what 3 days a week? Whoa. (Smiles)

And it just keeps getting better. I’ve now gone from run/walk to a 12min running pace and will be running my very first 5K in July. There’s really no better way to get in shape than with a wonderful community of supportive runners who push and encourage each other, both on the track and off.

 At THIS rate, I’ll be running the New York City marathon! Well, not so fast … lol. ONE goal at a time.

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-Katherine