Running to Overcome

October 27, 2010

Last week I ran a mile without stopping.

For many, this would actually be considered a negative thing.  For me, it is quite the opposite.  I have never been so proud of myself.
I grew up in a small Baptist school where we were required to wear culottes past our knees in gym class.  I use the word gym class lightly.  The teacher (whose degree was in youth ministry) would follow us in a blue church van yelling for us to go faster.
Around the same time in my life I was diagnosed with a heart condition called supraventricular tachycardia.  During an episode of SVT my heart can beat up to 300 beats per minute.  This is quite terrifying to a 13 year old.
Once in volleyball practice we were running laps in the church gym.  I had an SVT episode and asthma attack at the same time.  My coach (a term I also use lightly in this story) accused me of faking to get out of running laps.  My older sister had to step in to rescue me.  We both got in trouble.
I left that school a year later, but the trauma it caused still haunts me to this day.  One of the traumas is associated with running.  I literally thought I would die any time I had to run.  I avoided it like the plague in all future endeavors.
A few weeks ago I decided it was time to overcome this fear.  I signed up to run a 5k on Thanksgiving and started running 3-4 times a week.
The mile I finished on Friday was so much more than that.  Each step I take, each difficult breath is a victory won over my past and all the people that tried to keep me down.
My saucony running shoes are a symbol of inspiration to me.  When I feel unmotivated I just put them on and am instantly ready to go.
There is no feeling like accomplishing something you never thought you could.
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