I have a friend, let’s call her K, who I have been encouraging to take up running for over a year now. She’s inching closer. Last year she got the equipment (shoes and clothing). This past summer she went out on a couple of short runs. There have been starts and stops. Currently she is in stop mode. She’s convinced that her time has passed; that time and children have done irreversible things to her body and she could never be a runner or in the shape she was in 20 years ago.
I tell K that I only took up running 2 years ago. Yes, I dabbled in running before, but 2 years ago, I was Christine O’Donnell…I was not a witch runner. I ate healthfully, I exercised occasionally, but by no means was I a runner. Today, I will admit that I am a runner. I will also tell you that I am you (her). When I started running, I didn’t think that I could run a marathon.
K looks at me and says she could never run as fast as me. Maybe. But I have the same thoughts when I look at my fast friends Steve, Caleb, Kristen and Lam. I don’t let that discourage me though. I use it as inspiration. There’s always going to be someone faster and slower than you.
I tell K that because of running, I am in better shape at 41 than I was at 21.
Unless your name is Dean Karnazes, you don’t just wake up one day and decide you’re an Ultra-Marathon Man. It’s a progression. It takes time for one to go from the couch to the marathon. It goes faster for some, but the bottom line is, with little exception, we can all be runners, whether you top out at the 5K distance or progress to ultras.
K says over and over again, “no, I can’t.”
But I know she can say, “Yes, I can.”
Is it easy?
Is it instant?
Is it worth it?
There’s a reason why the Couch-to-5K and other walk/run programs are wildly successful.
So I ask you to leave a comment to tell K your story; tell my friend that she can turn back time and feel better than she did 20 years ago – that she needs to understand what we already know…yes, she can!