A year and a half ago, I had just run a half marathon PR and watched 150 Team In Training runners kick butt in the Boston Marathon. Inspired and ready to find myself a running community closer to home, I paid the annual dues and joined a local club. Last night — at least 18 months after submitting my original application and 11 months since renewing my initial membership — I went on a group run with the club for the first time. Nearly two years later. The ridiculous thing is how much I’ve actually run during that spell, and even worse, how many times I’ve thought that it would be fun to make local friends and to meet some running buddies.
What’s been holding me back? It’s that silly first step.
The same first step is my main obstacle to exercise most of the time. I swear, if I could count the number of times I’ve said aloud or thought, if I could just get motivated to go… or reminded myself that I rarely, if ever, regret a workout once I’m on the road….
There’s a proverb about that step, isn’t there? A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
It’s as if I would be an ultra-marathoner if I could just get out the damn door.
So, that step has been holding me back. I hate being new. I wouldn’t want to be the center of attention, or to have to introduce myself. What if I’m too slow? What if no one likes me? Seriously, that fear is still real at 29.
I arrived just as the group was getting ready to head out, threw on my shoes, reflector vest, and headlamp, and joined the troops. It was a smallish group of 15 or so, then broken down into smaller pairs and posses, but I ran alongside, comfortable and keeping mostly to myself. Everyone was very nice, we covered five and a half miles, and I made small talk before heading home.
No new best friends forever and no isolation so utterly horrible that I’ll never run again. Baby steps.
As I was heading to the car last night, one of the obviously regular runners waved and called out, “See you Thursday night?”
Pile on the Miles Challenge Update: 60.5/110 miles, 19/30 days