Run Forrest Run! This is always the first thing that comes to mind when I begin an evening run. It is a quote from the classic “Forest Gump” starring, Tom Hanks. In one of the most popular scenes, little Forest breaks out of his leg braces trying to escape the bullies that were chasing him. Running serves as more than an escape from my problems. It serves as my psychiatrist, my personal trainer, my motivator, my reliever – call it my addiction.
All throughout my childhood, I have always been quite large, plump, and round. Seriously! I was so large in fact, that my mom would call it being “husky.” She tried her best to conceal me from the stabbing pain and lowered self-esteem that comes with being called FAT! Even though I was larger than life, I still considered myself fairly active and in-shape. I would love to race my sisters and the other kids in our neighborhood. When we played hide-and-go-seek, I honestly believed that no one could catch me. Especially, when I moved my arms almost like windmills trying my hardest to reach home-base. I’m not sure if this windmill method was actually working, or if it was the other kids being nice not trying to pick me every time we played.
Moving through middle and high school, I become a bit more active. Actually, I was able to move just below the line of being called “Husky.” It wasn’t until my freshman year of college that I truly fell in love with running. It stems from a combination of two major occurrences that pushed me toward this new passion. The first occurrence was my Posse Trainer delivering that stabbing knife into my heart, I’ve been trying to avoid hearing. He delivered the infamous, “You’ve gotten FATTTTT!” (Yes, he did feel the need to hold it out that long). The second occurrence that sealed the deal, was a light run around our campus with my friend Jamie. At the time, I could barely complete half a mile before quitting and being forced to lay helplessly on the sidewalk, while I hyperventilated. After two those monumental moments, I vowed to Jamie, I would be able to run further and faster than her one day.
Four years and more than 900 miles later, I can’t imagine my life without running.It has transformed my life in ways I cannot fully explain. I was able to drop about 35-40lbs and actually run close to 4 miles almost daily. Running and I are now in an unoffi
cial/official committed relationship. When I say committed, I really mean committed. I have to think about my runs daily, put energy into them, talk about them, set goals with them, think of new ways to keep the relationship interesting, and the list goes on.
My relationship has been a little rocky the past few weeks. It has been a lot of transitions and obstacles getting in the way of me and my love. We have not been seeing eye to eye lately and it makes me feel awful. However, it really feels nice being able to understand who I am a little better. I’ve finally found something that I really enjoy doing, talking about, reading about, and planning for. I would never have thought I would be so involved with someone as unforgiving yet rewarding, as running is. It goes without saying when life gives you lemons..and you know the rest. My question to you is, how do you plan on making lemonade.