How I Became One Of “Those People”

It all started with being willed $100.

My grandmother passed away in 2008. While not a runner, she was the epitome of active. Being of modest means, she left each of her grandchildren $100 in her will.

I wanted to spend it on something meaningful. Something that would link us, but not sit on a shelf gathering dust. Finally, about a year later, when my youngest was 1 and I really felt flabby-n-shabby, I bought a pair of running shoes with that $100 – a fancy pair, from a real running store.  Unfortunately, the Fancy Sneakers sat on a shelf in the closet for another year, gathering dust.

I think I was scared to try it and fail. I was scared I wouldn’t honor my gramma. I was kind of scared it would be awful.

One day, at my teaching job, there was a Fun Run. I wore the Fancy Sneakers. In a fit of madness, I challenged my second graders to beat me. I ran a little, and it wasn’t awful.

I ran again one day after work. Enjoying being in motion, I listened to my music in peace. And it didn’t suck.

I made a “running mix”, and I ran a 3rd time, that time making it to 1/2 mile before walking.  Hey! This feels kind of nice!

Good thing it stuck. Not long after I began running, I found out that I was getting laid off, for the second time in a year. We had just bought a house. The job market was tanking fast. I was a big ball of anxiety.

I kept running. One day, in the middle of a 3-miler, with job interview questions and other stressors swimming through my head, a favorite rally song came through my headphones.

Suddenly I found big, fat sloppy tears running down my scrunched-up face…an ugly cry for sure. But with this cry came not sadness or anger, but an uplifting, soaring feeling that washed over me and I realized: EVERYTHING’S GOING TO BE OKAY. I swear I heard the Hallelujah Chorus!

From then on, I was hooked. I felt so alive, so positive, so downright giddy after I was finished (and for hours afterward) that I had to do it again. And again…and again.

Here I am, almost 5 years later…I’m still running, and it still doesn’t suck.

1 thought on “How I Became One Of “Those People”

  1. Pingback: The Too Bad, So Sad, Your Granddad Marathon, Part II: The Race | See Nancy Run.

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