I hate running. I always have. Ever since I could remember, when my sister or father would talk about going running, I would shudder. Why would you do something that makes your lungs burn, you head bobble, and was just genuinely, uncomfortable. I liked dance, aerobics; I did cardiovascular activity, just not running. For years, my husband, also a runner, would try to convince me to go with him on runs. “I don’t do that,” I would reply. “That’s not me. I do other things, not running.”
Two years ago, at an annual local run, my daughter was in charge and told me about a 2k run for women and girls. The ‘let’s get some of these local women off their rears and encourage the teen girls to exercise’ run. I wanted to help my daughter, and encourage mothers to exercise, something I believe in strongly, so I thought “O.K., I’ll walk the 2k, no biggy.” Then my younger sons and my husband saw that I was running, and they decided to join the 5k (the real race).
The race began, and well, in the beginning, you have to run, and I ended up running much more of the 2k than I thought I could. Thus, started our family running group. At first, I would walk most of the loop, watching my 10-year-old son run ahead in the distance, and I would jog a bit, grumbling to my husband that I’m really not a runner. But over this past year, I’ve realized that I’m running much more. And, the irony is, I like it. I like that, after a few minutes, when I push through, I do get that endorphin push, not the high that I’ve heard runners mention, but definitely a presence. The biggest change is that now, even when no one else wants to go but the dog, I’ll take myself out, and still run!
I’m blessed to live in a beautiful location whose big skies make me feel connected to the beauty around me, which makes the whole trip much easier. I realized that I do like the feeling of physically challenging my limits. I know I have that competitive part of me, and racing myself seems to satisfy that part. I don’t really run, I jog, and at such a slow pace that the dog is basically walking quickly next to me. But I’m moving! I think the most exciting thing is that here I am, in my 40’s, taking on an activity that I was a hundred percent convinced was not me.
I think we all envision ourselves in a certain way. Moving to Israel, of course, has already made us leave our comfort zone, but sometimes we need to challenge ourselves in other ways, and we get a slightly different picture of all we are capable.
Sunset in Mitzpe Yericho during a run