Born to Run

8 Jul

You are not a runner.

I remember the first time I told myself this. I was in the sixth grade. I was running the 200 meter dash in the last track meet of the season. I came in dead last in front of my entire family, and a group of snotty girls ridiculed my form. That was it for me…I never competed in school sports again. I believed in my own failure.

Fast forward to 2001. My first year as a working professional…and 40 pounds overweight. I remember the first time I got on the treadmill at Powerhouse Gym. I huffed and puffed through my walk, hanging my head and glancing at the skinny girl next to me, sprinting through her workout with ease. “You are not a runner,” I told myself. Then the weight started to come off, and I got a little braver. I ran for one minute at a time until I worked myself up to a 3 mile run. Exactly one year later, the same skinny girl got on the treadmill next to me right as I began my workout. And she got off before I even broke a sweat.

Since my diagnosis, I have experienced a wide range of emotions. Sometimes I find myself believing in my own failure…imagining a life where I am huffing and puffing, unable to keep up. I scour the internet, searching for the one person who didn’t gain 50 pounds after thyroid cancer…one person who doesn’t suffer from chronic fatigue, crazy mood swings and cancer recurrence. I forgot that I can be that one person.

When I run, I remember that my body is capable of amazing things. I can still walk out my front door and go for a run at this very moment. I may never win a race, but when I believe in my own success, I can beat that skinny girl on the treadmill. I can get through natural childbirth (twice!). I can carry a 25-pound toddler, 3 bags of groceries, a sippy cup and a cell phone. When I have faith, I can beat the odds.

I ran my first 5K race in 2003 with my dad. Running the Volkslaufe is now a family tradition.

By 2008, I could even wave at my daughter mid-race.
And this year, my daughter asked ME, the non-runner, if she was “doing it right.”

I am a runner. I am a warrior. I can and I will.

When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble.
Proverbs 4:12

3 Responses to “Born to Run”

  1. Kfanningcm July 8, 2011 at 5:58 am #

    Sarah, YOU are an AWESOME writer!!! I LOVE reading all of your entries on here!!!

  2. jannajones73 March 14, 2012 at 1:30 am #

    Just beautiful!

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