Yes, of course you can! I’ll take a second to be a cheerleader for you. You can do whatever you set out to do…whatever you put your mind to. So, get those running shoes, and get moving.
I haven’t always loved running. In fact, I have a love-hate relationship with it. There is a little pain involved; but man, when you get in the groove, and just sit in that pocket of coasting, breeze hitting your face, solving all of life’s problems and world issues with every step…it is heaven!
I didn’t run one full mile until I went to college. I was a collegiate cheerleader my Freshman year and later, a member of the dance team (Go Pack!). Suddenly, my twig legs were instructed to run a timed-mile, and to do these things called “fun runs” through the campus. I didn’t know what either was–so I just nodded and followed along. Let me just say, they were not fun; at least not at first. But at some point, I found great pleasure in pushing myself, getting better and getting faster. I actually had the urge to run outside of practice and scheduled workouts. I signed up for a few 5k races. A three or four mile run was my max. For years, that’s what I did–several days a week. Until one day, I had the grand idea to sign up for a half-marathon. Prior to that, I had run no more than 5 miles–ever, but hey, what’s another 8.1 miles, right? At least that’s how I rationalized it in my mind.
I trained hard. And I did it! I ran a whole 13.1 miles using ‘Pat & Charlie’. I could feel the love blossoming. My—almost—daily runs stretched to 6 or 7 miles. Until one day… You see where I’m going with this? A few years later, I moved to Boston and had a goal to run the Boston Marathon. I attended the race for work, and the energy and excitement of that day was something I had to be a part of. The following year, I signed up and thought, hey, what’s another 20.2 miles, right? In April of 2016, I completed my 4th Boston Marathon.
Here’s the key. You first have to set your mind to it. From there, the training will carry you through. You will feel yourself getting stronger. That, in and of itself, will make you want to see how far, how fast, and how much better you get as a runner. Start out small and increase in increments to fit your comfort level. If that’s to the end of the street and walking back, you will soon be able to run back—and then eventually be able to run to the next block—and before you know it, you’re running a mile. You will naturally want to push yourself even beyond that. As you improve, you will find the joy in the movement. So yes, my friend, you can become a runner.