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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Running: Beating the Voice Inside My Head

I've never been an athlete.  I've never played a team sport with the exception of seventh grade volleyball.  Back then, everyone made the team so they had to take me.  Was I good?  No.  Was I distracted?  Always.  That's it - there's my team sports.

As for individual sports, well I took private golf lessons but that ended with me throwing my clubs.  I bowl a kids bowling ball and my scores are embarrassing.  I've always loved riding my bike but who doesn't, right?  I adore downhill skiing and have for years - the adrenaline when I tuck down the hill is phenominal.  I'm not a skilled skiier but I have a true love for skiing.

So to running: rewind to September of 2010, I was warming my lunch at work when a nice young man (an assistant to an agent and also a personal trainer) and I had a brief conversation about physical activity.  My memory is poor but I believe his suggestion was "Just walk on the treadmill at 4.0 for 30 minutes".  So I began.  Out to the shop I went, every other day, doing just as he'd instructed.  I slowly increased the speed and began to run.  Fast forward to the end of 2010, I was running on the treadmill.

Now how could this be?  Me, Anya, she who couldn't run on the track during P.E. in school.  How could I possibly be running?  Well I was and it felt great.  It took me some gumption to muster the ability to get off the treadmill and hit the road but in early 2011, I was running outside.  The fresh air was unbelieveable, noting my progress on my app's map was fulfilling and I just barely missed watching episode's of The Real Housewives of anytown on the treadmill.

I've run with a handful of friends, I've run in all weather elements, I've run along the water, I've run in the forest and I seem to run often from my home or office.  At home, it's my pup Zoe that keeps me going.  A 10 year old lab who lost her sister just last year, she was the runt of the litter so at nearly 45 lbs, she keeps up with me perfectly.  Sometimes she's met by neighboring dogs who want to protect their homes, other times we're jumping over live-stock droppings on the side of the road.  Did I disclose it's Pure Country at home?  From my office I can schedule in runs before or after appointments and I have the luxury of running on sidewalks with street lights partnered with a central location allowing for endless new routes.

November brought two milestones for me.  The first, I totaled 55.2 miles of running during the month.  The second, at the last minute, I decided to step-up my game and run the Oly Trot on Thanksgiving Day in Olympia.  I had some apprehension but nevertheless, I ran my first organized run and I felt quite triumphant crossing the finish line.  It wasn't about my final time, or my pace or anything other than: YOU CAN DO IT.  And I did it.

So as I recount my origin of running, I'm pleasantly surprised to see I will have logged over 300 miles of running in 2011.  I feel a goal is necessary to stay challenged but I'm not quite sure what I'll determine my goal to be.  For this moment I'll remain content in knowing - I can run.

"It's very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit." -George Sheehan


  1. I love it Anya! I have the same athletic history and a current desire to be a runner. I have the South Sound Running sticker on my car and I have the shoes! It's a start! I love the most how one person speaks into your life and those words ignite action and compliment your life or change it altogether. Inspiring to me to read this..

  2. Anya - why didn't I already know any of this? I am in awe, and inspired! I can do it too... I like the idea, love the idea actually, of logging miles per month and miles per year. You're the best Anya Myer, and I'm so proud that you're my daughter-in-law!!!

  3. OK - I now have a name although you probably could have figured it out with the mother-in-law reference and all. :)