I put my running shoes on and it started raining. The weather has been like this off and on all day, but I was really hoping to run today. I wanted to go running at Frenchman’s Forest. I love it there– it’s incredibly peaceful. Here’s a photo I took there. Beautiful, isn’t it?
At some point this year, I’d like to go on my first 5k. For those of you who knew me in high school, you may be surprised. I was completely anti-athletic– and let’s face it, it was mostly due to bullying in school. I was terrified to get involved in any sport, because I was always the target in gym class (or any other time, really). This has affected how I have approached running, which has become something that is spiritually exciting for me.
I was thinking about this the other day when I went for a run in my neighborhood, and the previous time that I was going for a run at Carlin Park in Jupiter. I thought to myself, I bet the reason I feel self-conscious running is because kids made fun of me growing up. A part of me expects to pass by a runner who will suddenly yell, “Ha-ha! You look so stupid in those shorts, and where did you get your shoes, Wal-Mart?”
Go ahead and laugh, but bullying leaves a lasting impression. Running is becoming a way that I am slowly but surely escaping the effects of childhood bullying (among the other things that I endured as a child). For a long time, when I first started running, I was afraid to run anywhere except parks. I was afraid to run on the streets. Not because I am afraid of being hit by a car, but I think that deep down, I was literally afraid of being ridiculed. I know that it sounds preposterous, but I think it was an instinctive feeling– a burning on the back of my neck, a dread in the pit of my stomach– that originates from my childhood.
I have a lot to work through right now, and running is helping me with that. I think it is helping me express myself, become more comfortable with myself, and become more comfortable around other people.
Last week, I summoned the courage to join the Palm Beach Roadrunners. Oh man, that is huge for me! For someone who was once completely anti-athletic, terrified of joining groups or clubs, and generally afraid of talking to just about anyone, I have made huge leaps and bounds (no pun intended) by joining a group of runners of all ages and skill levels. I’ll be partaking in group runs, and before you know it, I’ll be racing! It blows my mind just thinking about it, simply because of how reserved I have always been– again, due to things that happened to me as a child.
To backtrack, a few months ago I took an enormous step by joining a support group where I have met wonderful people and made great friendships. I finally feel as if I am accepted and loved! There were a lot of things that I didn’t discuss growing up, things that I was nervous to talk about, but I am finally learning to be me and to stand up for myself. To talk to people, and to get to know people. Holy crap!
It’s still raining. I was kind of hoping my luck would change as I typed. Oh, well. If you enjoy running as much as I do . . . .
There’s some great books you can check out.
Running the Spiritual Path by Roger Joslin
I absolutely love this book (pictured). I bought it recently at the suggestion of a friend, and it’s fantastic. When I finish it, I will post a review.
Running With the Mind of Meditation by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche
The Complete Book of Women’s Running by Dagny Scott Barrios
This is a great book. Very in-depth and thorough, for runners of any skill level.
Eat & Run by Scott Jurek
I have read about Scott Jurek in Runner’s World, and I picked up this book at the library when it first came out. I absolutely love him! He is a Vegan, and a chef. This book also has recipes in it. I kind of wish I could hire this man to come to my house and cook for me. He makes everything from scratch, highly nutritional, and loves doing it. Ladies, wouldn’t you like a guy like that in the house?
This is a very useful book: the title is self-explanatory. I got it for my Kindle and I enjoy referring to it and now and again.
I think I remember seeing some negative reviews for this book online, but it’s actually a nice little volume. This is another one I got for my Kindle, and it has some great tips for just running, especially for beginners. Anyone can read it, whether you’re looking to lose weight or not.
Runner Sami: A fellow writer and runner!
Well, it is pouring outside. So much for this evening’s run. I guess I will take off my running shoes.