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my running journey | part one

I’ve hesitated writing this post for some time. In my mind I thought the best time to talk about my experience with running would be after I completed my first marathon in under 2 hours. [So basically, never. Ha!]

But if I’ve learned anything with my knitting adventures, it’s that it is always more about making progress than solely focusing on the end goal. 

By calling this my journey I’m validating where I am and where I’ve been.

So, here’s where I’ve been: 

Growing up I wasn't an athletic gal. I was a dancer. 

I loved putting on my ballet, tap and jazz shoes on every week in our local dance studio and dancing my little heart out after school on the little tile entryway in our house. I spent many Saturdays trying to convince my little sister to let me teach her the newest choreography I learned in class that week so we could perform our own little show.

Dancing, though I wasn’t always the most graceful, was something I felt good doing. 

My first memory of running was somewhere around 4th grade. We were responsible for running “The Mile” a few times a semester and I dreaded the days we practiced by running “The Half Mile" around the park next to our school.  In my three years training in PE, I never ran a mile or even half of a mile without stopping. In fact, I was one of the girls that walked in a little group and ran about half of the time. Eventually, I became frustrated that at 9, this running thing wasn’t coming as naturally to me as some of my classmates. I could do 100 plies and an entire barre routine, but when faced with running long distances I just didn’t have any interest or percieved ability. 

When the time to transition to junior high came, I had a moment of panic when I heard that students were expected to run a weekly mile in athletics. 

Confession: the real reason I went to a magnet junior high & high school was because I didn’t want to have to take competitive athletics and be forced to run every week. I wanted to continue studying dance by taking it in school and thankfully there were a few fine arts magnet schools in our district that allowed me to do just that.

I loved it. I was never forced to run any more than a few "across the floors" and no one ever held running over my head as a punishment. Because, to me, running was a punishment. It was something to be done after a sorry tennis or football practice. Running was not something that had the capability to lift my mood, make me stronger, or made me feel more empowered. 

Oh, so much that little Ashley would learn 10 years later.

To be continued… 

|| Spoiler alert: I’ve run a total of 9 miles so far this week and I’m a huge fan. Come back next week to find out how I got here. This is only the beginning.