I Hate Running


So I thought I’d clarify a few things about my recent activities, just so no one gets confused. Including me. I started running. And then I posted statuses on Facebook and making comments to my co-workers about how I’d just gone running and realized what I sounded like. I sounded like a person who likes to go running. Which is just plain ridiculous. I hate running. I’ll give you an example.

Yesterday I went running at around 11:45 am. The sun was overhead and I felt like I was in a desert. There are no trees that offer shade and there were no friendly clouds in sight to block the sun’s harsh rays. It figuratively felt like I was running on the sun. I was a mess, sweating all over, physically exerting myself, and doing it all while running. Ugh. I’m almost disgusted with myself. But not quite. And the other day it was raining. What was I thinking? Running in the rain. Pshaw. I hate running. I hate the occasional breeze that cools me as I round the corner to go another mile around my neighborhood. I hate the chirpy voice of the program I’ve chosen to get my endurance up to a 5K, telling me that I’m halfway. I hate the fact that it sometimes is raining. Nevermind that rain is one of my favorite things ever. I hate running.

I hated running in junior high. I only joined cross country to be a part of a community, something that I desperately needed. But I complained too much and was seriously desperate to be the center of everyone’s universe. Instead of allowing myself to be about the team, I was about me. Typical for a junior higher I think, but that’s not really an excuse. I wish I had been more about my team, more about finishing something. However, at the time I didn’t really care that my whining brought the team down. I didn’t care that I was so negative. I only cared that someone cared about me. Isn’t that sad?

I hated running in high school as I went through track and somehow landed in soccer. I loved that game, but I hated the running part. The conditioning part. I also didn’t like my team. They were a clique; the cool kids and I wasn’t one of them. I was an overweight bookworm, even then. I didn’t know how to be part of the sporty, cute group. I wasn’t sporty and I wasn’t cute. I was a quitter; I’d taught myself that it was easier in junior high, why would I strive to persevere now? And being alone wasn’t exactly new to me. By the time I graduated from high school I’d been rejected by many different friends at many different times.

But in college, running found its way back to me. It came in the form of Ultimate Frisbee. Now here was a sport I could handle. Short sprints, along with dives and catches. I had sticky fingers and I loved the fact that I was actually good at something. And when my heart was shattered along with my pride, and God changed me into a new person, I played Ultimate Frisbee. And I danced. And I did yoga. Slowly, I healed and reformed from the quitter I had once been. From the bad friend who had needed too much love. From the lies I had told myself all along: that I was better than everyone else.

I replaced those lies with new ones and a few truths. Those are what I’m confronting now. Lies that tell me that I’m not good enough. That I’ve quit all along; it’s too late to change. So now, I run. I go out several times a week and I run to prove that I can do it. I can run a 5k without walking, just like everyone pushed me to do in junior high. I only ever did it once and even then I coughed and stopped for a second, needing to stop. I don’t know why. But I did. I needed the attention I suppose. I stopped right in front of the boys team, making it obvious that I was struggling. I think about that moment far more frequently than I probably should. If I had just kept going, what would have happened? Would my life be any different?

These bouts of nostalgia were brought on by Nehemiah and Marissa’s play. In Nehemiah 9, the Israelites pray and look back on where God brought them as a nation. I look back on my life and see so much that I did wrong and so little that I did right. I think that’s part of my current problem. I’m so afraid that I’ll make more mistakes, that I can’t move forward. But isn’t that a mistake too? By not going anywhere, I’m making a more detrimental error than I would if I moved in the wrong direction. And isn’t that what Mom told me like two days ago?

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