Tuesday, July 1, 2003

My Spotty Running Background

This post is my reflection on what has brought me to this point ...

I was very athletic when I was in elementary school. It came naturally to me. I have a school crest and numerous sports badges to prove that I was on most of the athletic teams for several years. I was never the top athlete - my best friend at the time had that honour - but I could hold my own. I was actually on the "new" cross country team for a few years, and I recall how easy it was for me to just run. I was never a top runner, who won medals or the top runner awards. I was a ribbon collector for participating! :) I was the one who could keep going while running in the middle of the pack ...

When I was in high school, I was only on one school team, the badminton team, every year from Grade 9 until graduation. Girls' doubles. I also took gym class throughout high school for four years so there was running on the track periodically in the fall and spring when it was nicer weather outside. There were periods when, on my own initiative, I ran around the neighbourhood in an effort to jump-start a running program. Again, I was fit enough that I could just run with an occasional stop to walk, but none of this was organized or planned as an actual running program. My main source of exercise outside of school in those days was biking everywhere when there was no snow.

Once I went away to university, there were fleeting attempts to start running, always starting for a week or so, and then giving up. Unfortunately, this is when I started gaining significant weight, thus making any running attempts more difficult and discouraging.

A significant experience occurred in 2001 when I cheered on a friend at his first marathon in Vancouver with a time of 4:17:23. It was a memorable experience to watch my friend and his partner do this together!

My last fleeting attempt at running was a year later, in 2002, when I was in the middle of one of the worst years of my life. I have had two of those kind of years, 1992 and 2002, years when everything that could go wrong DID go wrong in a stunning, spectacular way! :( It was just awful awful awful. It also explains why I left B.C. ... I took it as a sign, that with everything that was a positive for me now crumbling apart, that I was meant to leave Vancouver. I left Ontario for B.C. in 1992 when I had my first dreadful year so now I used the same, "get of Dodge" technique, in 2002.

But I am digressing ... some of my excuses before for not running was that I was too busy with my social life and my job to focus on it. I told myself that after losing both these things, these excuses no longer held true so get to it! I started jogging in the Pacific Rim Park near UBC, a gorgeous area for trailing running. Again, there was no program or plan - I was just getting myself out there - but it ended when I badly sprained my ankle of the trail. I painfully limped out of the park to the car to get me home, never to return. :(

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