Turtle wisdom, take two

Image via Wikipedia

Photo: Totally not my turtle–or my photo, for that matter–but a neat one nonetheless.

In middle school, “running the mile” in gym class every week was the bane of my existence. I dreaded it intensely, in part because I was a fairly out-of-shape adolescent and in part because I just never felt like I was meant for that particular sport (or any sport, to be honest); my short, compact legs seemed better built for gymnastics…or, um, couch sitting.

My dad was always a runner, and his mantra for as long as I can remember was, “I run five miles before breakfast so I can eat dessert.” While I’m sure that this was true, he also seemed incredibly disciplined, and I, feeling like a slow and sloppy non-athlete– envied that even more than his ability to consume two entire entrees (in addition to whatever my mom didn’t finish) when we went out to eat. So when I started college, I had two goals (or three, if I do the right thing and throw “graduating” on in there):

1. Learn to like the taste of beer

2. Become a runner

Obviously, I threw myself completely into mastering that first task (whew! Challenging stuff, I tell you!) and began to slowly work toward achieving goal number two. It never felt easy and I never seemed to get any faster, but over time, my stamina improved and so did my resolve.

These days (and many, many bottles full of Blue Moon later), I tolerate the occasional (once in a blue moon, perhaps? :)) beer, but the running thing– and the runner-designation–still makes me a little uncomfortable, although it has, over the years, become a pretty significant part of my week. I’m not particularly fast, I’ve never participated in a race of any length, and I’m not competitive at all (when it comes to athletic endeavors– Scrabble is an entirely different story). Still, I’m beginning to relish the early morning pull of outside– especially here in Texas, when outside means an ocean view, a gorgeous pier, and even an occasional turtle-sighting.

Maybe slow isn’t such a bad thing after all.


2 Responses to “Turtle wisdom, take two”

  1. I remember that I used to think that my mother was ridiculous because she “didn’t like running”. Sadly, I now completely understand her sentiments. I will say that 37 has afforded me the opportunity to “reset” and “redo”, and I’ve found a neighbor who has been meeting me at the gym at 5:30am several times a week this whole summer long. While I am no runner either (UGH!), I have found some equally satisfying cardio that I enjoy. I only lament that I waited so long. Congratulations for being well ahead of the curve. I’ve always admired your tenacity and goal-setting! XO

    • You’re very kind.
      Bless those early morning workout buddies, huh? They make all the difference. Glad you’ve found your thing :).
      What will this school year look like for you? Are you still coaching?

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