i have to want to leave the ground

I've never been a fast runner. Really I've never been a runner. And in the past that was fine. Planned even. In the past, I had no desire to be a runner.

But now, I do.

When I took PE class, I generally walked the required mile. There was a group of us who would walk and maybe jog some for the benefit of the teachers. None of us had any real desire to run. We were in PE class because it was a required part of our education and not because we chose to be.

Now, upon entering the gym, I am there because I choose to be. Yes, it is a helpful part of my weight loss journey, but I could strictly watch my calories and still lose weight. I did that last week and lost a pound. I go to the gym because I like the endorphins and because sweating up a storm makes me feel better about myself.

I forgot that last week. I gave into the impending winter weather. I allowed myself rest. It helped some, but now it is Monday morning of a new week and I am still tired. I still don't want to go to the gym. So this week, instead of resting, I am going to force myself to finish.

In PE class, your times of completing a mile are compared with the other students (at least they were for me) as well as with the time you took to complete your previous mile. Knowing I would never win against another student allowed me, in my mind, the opportunity not to try.

And while I do compare myself to others in the gym, my time and my effort really only matters for myself. I'm not doing this for a grade or to be able to look at others and say I can run faster than you. I am doing this because I want to be healthy and because I want the joy of saying I finished that mile in my fastest time yet.

More than that, I want to reclaim the joy of just saying that I finished. I want to rediscover the feeling of accomplishment I get after a workout. I want to remember how much I love the gym. And I want to stop allowing my injuries or exhaustion to take over.

Because I am injured. I have a knee that hurts all of the time. And I'm not going to be able to break into a sprint or come in first during a 5k. But right now all that matters is that I try and that I not give up. Right now I need to push through the pain and rehabilitate my knee. I need to stop making excuses and stop allowing things to get in my way.

I need to remember that I will never again be that girl who took 20 minutes to finish a mile. And I need to remember that I will always be the girl who finishes.

(title from "on my way here" by ryan tedder)

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