Everyone comes to running for different reasons and everyone gets something different out of it.
My Non-Running History
I was definitely not a runner for the first 20 something years of my life. In fact, except for a few half-assed attempts at playing JV volleyball in high school, in my teen years, I was pretty much a slug.
When I was in high school, I was in exchange student in Belgium for one summer.
Why Belgium? You may ask.
Why not? I’d respond. A bit random perhaps, but I wanted the experience of traveling more than I cared about the specific destination. Besides, there are worse ways of spending the summer than biking the canals of Brugge. But that’s not my point- my point is that this adventure of mine prompted my mom to decide to run a marathon.
Her thinking was that if I could be daring and adventurous, so could she. She wasn’t a slug like I was, but she also wasn’t a huge runner either.
My Running History
Flash forward a few years: mom was still running and doing the occasional marathon, I was still doing my very best slug imitation. One day, I didn’t want to slug it anymore. This was just around Mother’s Day so the ideas collided in my head: I would train for and run the Twin Cities Marathon with my mom.
Starting from a base of pretty much nothing, I did the slow and steady improvement thing and 6 months later I was at the starting line.
I Get Hooked
After crossing the finish line of a marathon, I think most runners immediately say they’ll never do that again. From there, they fall into one of two categories: those who stay in the ‘I’m never going to do that again’ camp and those who, after food and a shower, begin planning which marathon they’ll I do next.
I fell into the ‘what’s next’ camp and have done a marathon or two pretty much every year since.
I started trail running after moving to the Bay Area in 2007. There are so many parks and trails in the area, I felt like I should take advantage of them all. I also loved the energy of trail races. They feel different than road races- better food at the aid stations too (potatoes dipped in salt and a cup of coke? yes please).
In considering finish times (which I rarely do) I am an average runner on my best day, but I that is the furthest thing from my mind. I try to challenge myself and I push myself and I do my best. Seek out new adventures and push my own boundaries and limits.
I still get personal satisfaction and pleasure from that. That is all I ask for from my hobbies.