“Out on the roads there is fitness and self-discovery and the persons we were destined to be.” -Dr. George Sheehan
I went for a run one morning. I had been running every day now. It had been three months since I took the first step back into getting in shape. Before every run, I would walk to the top of the hill I live at the bottom of. It’s not a steep hill, I just never wanted to start my runs going up hill. I liked the walk to atleast have some kind of warm up. I got to the end of my driveway to start walking but a few neighbors were walking by at the same time. I tend to lean towards the shy side and sometimes avoid awkward moments, so I didn’t want to walk right next to them after a quick “good morning.” So I sucked it up and started running up the hill.
That run that morning, everything just clicked. Everything just came together. Every step seemed smooth, every breath was relaxed. The run almost felt effortless. It was the first run that didn’t feel hard. It was the first run I wasn’t gasping for air when I finished. After sticking with it for a few months, I finally felt I had made it. I had ran 5 miles. I felt like I could of gone on forever. I don’t know if my neighbors were not out at the same time that the run would have been different, but part of me thinks that it would of been. Kind of like the idea that something so small, could change the course of your life. Sounds a bit crazy. Maybe if I wasn’t shy I would of had a nice conversation with them and had another tough run. Who knows? And ever since, I’ve started running at the end of the driveway…at the bottom of the hill.
I really thought I could have done it again. Another 5 mile loop after just doing one. But I didn’t. “If I ran that route again, that would be a 10 mile run. That’s almost a half marathon, right?” I went right to my computer when I walked in the house. I searched how long a half marathon is, 13.1 miles. This is a bit embarrassing but when I was driving out West, I saw a bunch of 13.1 and 26.2 stickers on cars. I didn’t understand what they were. I really thought they were some weird radio stations or something. Haha, now I know! I also searched for training plans for a half. Pretty much all I found were three month plans. I counted out three months to the day. Just around Thanksgiving. “I think there’s a half marathon on that day actually.” Boom. Atlanta Thanksgiving Half Marathon. It was all perfect timing.
I gave it some serious thought… maybe just like 15 minutes. I registered and printed off a training plan. “Alright, a half marathon is far. It’s pretty crazy to run that far. Just this once, to see if I can do it and never again” I told myself. I made the announcement to my parents feeling excited and proud! This seemed like it was my biggest commitment and challenge I had set for myself.
But there was another side to those feelings. The job search once again wasn’t going in my favor. I kept hearing that I didn’t have enough experience for entry level jobs. It made no sense! Weren’t these jobs designed for kids fresh out of college to gain experience? Why wasn’t I landing any jobs, let alone interviews? How was I supposed to get any experience? Coming close to broke, I had to take what I could get. I applied for another warehouse job and got it. This job was another temporary project.
I dreaded doing another warehouse job. Being on my feet and moving crap all day wasn’t what I had in mind. I wasn’t above doing it, just thought by now I’d be sitting at my own desk. But I had to do what I had to do. I did luck out a little. I got to sit down at this one. The job was working for a tech company that was doing a project for The Home Depot. We were setting up handheld devices to be used in the stores. My part was to upload the operating software to the devices. Sounds somewhat cool right? It was super easy and mindless really. It was in a warehouse setting but I wasn’t doing typically warehouse stuff. So it was better than my last job.
In addition to that, I was beginning to regret my decision to end my last relationship. Was it the right decision? I was really missing her and I was having the hardest time of letting go. I was blaming myself for the end of us. We were completely fine until I brought up moving and doing the road trip. I realized I pressured the hell out of her to go with me. So I thought it was all my fault. A part of me started to regret leaving to go West. How was I gonna get past this? Or how could I fix this?
Running helped me out a lot in high school when I went through a break up. I had my goals when I started back up, but I knew deep down another reason why I wanted to run again. Since it helped me so much before, I knew it would help me again. The half marathon was something to look forward to in the future. Really the only thing I was looking forward to.