My running transformed the older I got. In high school, I was always the teammate that loved running shuttle spirts during volleyball and basketball warm-ups, enjoyed the 1-mile warm-up at the beginning of track practice, and I liked learning techniques to strategically empty the tank when I ran the 400m events. One time, during high school volleyball practice, our coach made us run to a neighboring high school to retrieve the volleyballs we left the night before— 5 miles there, 5 miles back. This was my first-ever endurance run. Though at first I dreaded the idea of it, I ended up loving it!
Running took a back seat during my first few months of college. I never ran for the sake of running— it had always been for a team sport. One afternoon, my dorm neighbor asked me to come along with her to the fitness center. Believe it or not, this was my first time ever stepping foot in a gym! A few minutes on the treadmill, and some reps on several machines did not sell me on the whole gym idea. I didn’t go back anytime soon!
Fast forward a few months from my first gym visit— I met my then boyfriend (now husband) during my freshman year of college and he loved to run! I shared stories about track and running in high school, and we decided to meet up for a running date after class! I thought we could successfully complete a 3-mile run together, but I didn’t make it! 800 meters into the run and I was on the struggle-bus having to stop every 200 meters to walk! I shocked myself at how quickly I lost my running endurance. My previous experiences with running went hand-in-hand with an organized sport and never as a sport I could accomplish on my own, or with a group of friends for fun. Running for the sake of running became a new concept. This was an incredible epiphany for me, and it was a pivotal event in my life with a newfound love for the sport!
A group of my closest college friends formed a running group— setting out early in the morning to run followed by a quick breakfast together before class, or meeting in the afternoon to run around the lakes! Quickly, running became an integral and incredibly happy part of my everyday life.
During college breaks, I tackled the hills in my neighborhood and ran down all of the piers in the Boston Navy Yard— often taking a moment to admire the skyline when I crested the top of Bunker Hill Street or slowing my pace to listen to the seagulls and the clanging of the buoy-bells in the Boston Harbor. Running now transformed into a sport that I also enjoyed by myself!