Were you this girl? The one that avoided running at all costs? The one that hated running? The one picked last for any team? The one that went far out into the outfield when we had to play, praying that no one would hit anything out there, because she couldn’t hit, catch, or run?
Yup, that girl was me. I didn’t run track in school. In fact, one year I picked track during PE classes because the teachers never checked on us. You could choose between several different options. We’d walk out to the track, and sit on it and talk.
When I got married I wore my sister’s dress — she’s taller than me, but I had to diet so that I could fit into that dress. I was successful, but it wasn’t long after getting married that the pounds started to pile back on.
Was that when I started running? No. I joined Weight Watchers. I became a lifetime member and a leader. Only I still struggled with my weight.
Was that when I started running? No. As time went by, despite eating relatively healthy and being active, the pounds piled on again. I stopped going to Weight Watchers. I didn’t have a scale, but I knew roughly what I weighed. And I knew it wasn’t healthy.
Was that when I started running? No.
Then it was time to try to find an attractive dress for my niece’s Bat Mitzvah. Which was an utter fail. I ended up with a — you guessed it — black dress. Hoping no one would see how heavy I’d become. As if black was a cloak of invisibility. A cut on my face got infected and I had to go to a doctor and step on a scale. I was at my heaviest weight ever.
Was that when I started running? No. But that is when I went back to Weight Watchers. And the pounds started to come off. I knew I had to keep going to meetings the rest of my life (and I still go to weekly meetings).
Was that when I started running? No. Not until I hit the dreaded plateau. The mother of all plateaus that lasted literally years. That’s when I started to run. I figured I needed something to help me push through my plateau.
I was in my late 40s when I ran my first mile. I was never going to race — heck, for the longest time I only ran on my treadmill. And then I decided to do a 5k. It was slow, and it wasn’t the life changing event so many people said it would be, but I didn’t die. And I finished. And I kept on running.
I was never going to run longer. I did a couple more 5ks. The bug still hadn’t really hit, but I kept running. I was fast approaching my 50th birthday when I got this bee in my bonnet about running a half marathon. As it turns out, four days after my 50th birthday I ran my second half marathon.
I was so sure I’d be one and done; heck, I felt that way about that first 5k!
Now I am 16 states into running a half marathon in every state.
I will freely admit running wasn’t the weight loss magic bullet I thought it would be. I continued to yo-yo for a while, even gaining weight training for my first half marathon. But I kept running. I’ve been running about nine years now. I did eventually lose another ten pounds to get to — and maintain — my goal weight. Running actually helps me maintain my weight now, but that’s because I’ve learned more about fueling properly.
I would never give up running now. It makes me feel good — that’s why I run. The fact that I can eat a little more is just the cherry on top. It’s brought me many friends and lead me to explore many cool places.
Running has built my confidence more than almost anything else in life. Even as a slow runner. Even as a runner who has never won an age group award, and probably never will.
I didn’t discover Skirt Sports until about 2013. I had tried other running skirts, but even though I wasn’t heavy, the shorties rode up or they gave me wedgies or even worse — no pockets! I was always of the opinion that looking good made me feel more confident, but it wasn’t always easy to find bottoms that looked cute on me. I ran my first half marathon in a Skirt Sports skirt in 2014, and have gone on to race in a skirt often. And to convert my friends to Skirt Sports, too.
The real reason I run is simple though: it makes me happy. I always feel better after a run.
Do you think you can’t run? You can, if you want to. And if you don’t want to, that’s cool too. There are many ways to be active. If you want to run, and that little voice inside your head or your friends or partner is telling you you can’t — don’t listen. If you want to, you can, I promise you.
I always say that if I can do it, anyone can. I truly believe that.
Talk to me:
Why did you start to run?
What’s your favorite thing about running?