Thursday, July 1, 2010

A short history of running (or something like that)

In 8th grade, I first decided I was a runner and therefore belonged on the track team. It never fazed me that the last time I had run was in 6th grade gym. The track team was one of the hippie types where everyone makes the team. I participated in some meets, sat out others. I wasn't great, but on a team of 70, I wasn't the worst either.

In 9th grade, I joined the track team again. I had run sprints in 8th grade, but decided I was going to take advantage of my height and switch to hurdles. Not many people wanted to do hurdles, so I ran at all the meets, including the one on my birthday when I clipped my trail foot on the very first hurdle, tumbled to the ground and instinct said to break the fall. The result was a broken and dislocated finger. Even better, this happened on my 15th birthday when I had tickets to go to my first Detroit Pistons game. I was off the team.

The next year I decided I was going to be a distance runner. Very early in the season the coach had us jumping on boxes and I twisted my ankle on landing. I didn't rest, but kept running and it eventually turned into a hairline fracture. Another year off the team.

By 11th grade, I was still convinced I was going to be a track star. I hadn't yet found my niche so I switched to mid-distances. I finished the season without any major injury but it's pretty safe to say I was the worst on the team.

My senior year, I joined the team again, but a few weeks in, realized I didn't enjoy it and quit before the first meet.

I didn't run again for years. After college I participated in the Race for the Cure several times and a handful of local runs, as far as 8k, but I never really took it seriously and I was never good! Sure I finished every race, always with at least one walking break.

In 31 years, the furthest I had run without stopping was about 2 miles, probably even less than that. I doubt I've ever run more than 20 minutes without walking. And now I can run more than an hour without stopping or walking. Wow! I have no athletic ability but determination is more powerful and is working thus far. If I can do this, everyone can. It just takes time and work. You can do this!


  1. I didn't realize you were on the track team for so many years. I remember the broken finger, but forgot about the fracture until I just read this.

  2. Keep on goin', Michelle. Good blog!