running around

Firstly I would just like to put it out there that I have never ever ever been a runner. Just don’t do it.. not ever. I mean sure when I played team sports like netball, basketball and soccer, I would obviously run if I needed to, but I have never been able to understand those people who just run around a park or something  oval shaped, literally going no where? My reaction was always just ‘ew why would you?’, that is until now. As I’ve gotten a bit older I’ve started to realize that my issue with running wasn’t because I don’t enjoy it or because I struggle with the cardio, it was because I don’t know actually know how to run. And being the insecure person that I am, if I looked silly doing it there was no way I was ever doing it in public. That may sound weird and you’re probably thinking ‘that’s just silly, everyone can run?’, But when it comes to running for exercise, over a sustained distance, it actually requires a bit of technique, which I definitely do not have.

A few weeks ago I asked my trainer if he could help me with this issue, because my mum has always been a runner, my brother too and I would love to be able to just ‘go for a run’, whenever I felt like it. I think it would be a great way to relieve a bit of stress and just escape for a little while, as well as obviously also being a great cardio workout. Adam, my trainer, started by watching me walk on the treadmill, and pointed out to me that I turn my feet/knees in slightly when I walk (thank you years of netball for ruining my joint stability!!). This was the reason why I felt so uncoordinated when I ran, my knees would knock together and I just felt like a giant fool. He told me that before I could learn to run I needed to train my feet/knees to walk in a straight line, and we proceeded to basically catwalk up and down the gym for the next 15 minutes.

Since then I have been really focusing on how I walk, I do this while on my powerwalks as well as just in my day to day walking. Subsequently yesterday, for the first time really ever.. I felt like going for a run! It was a lovely sunny day – for the most part anyway, but before the rain rolled in I decided I would go for a 40 minute powerwalk. Once I was out in the sun, with a nice cool breeze and the perfect backing soundtrack on my ipod, I felt the desire to run instead, and that’s exactly what I did. Out in the open for everyone to see. I’m not deluded enough to think that I would be able to run the whole time, so because I’m just starting out I did it in small bursts. Run a street, walk a street, run to the next big tree then walk to that round-about etc. I loved every minute of my little attempted afternoon run and now think I’m starting to understand why people enjoy it so much. Its almost an empowering feeling, your body can feel every step you’re taking but tell yourself to push through it, you have complete control over your own workout. I think I’m going to try and develop my running and hopefully be able to build up some endurance with it.

I would like to apologize on behalf of the previously inexperienced version of myself, for all the things I once thought/said about running. After all how could I dislike something, which I’d never really tried. I am finally ready to admit that I was wrong. I now understand the appeal and why for some people running is such an amazing outlet. However I maintain that you will never see me just running around a park, school oval or athletic track. I will run if I have somewhere to run too, but never in circles.

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