Tuesday, March 1, 2011
I run in their footsteps
Some kids grow up with aunts who knit. Other kids spend their formative years listening to their uncles rave about their golf game. Me? When I was young, I had this aunt and uncle who would put on sneakers and go outside and run almost every day - rain, snow, or shine, just for the fun of it.
Most people thought they were crazy. I didn't think that - I thought it was cool that Aunt Mary and Uncle Sandy were out there running. They started for the sheer joy of the sport. Then they got bitten by the competitive aspect, and they started racing - first in 5Ks, then 10ks, then half marathons, and then the ultimate race, The Marathon.
I never participated in organized sports growing up, other than that mandatory P.E. class. But for fun, I swam, skated, and bicycled all over our county in New Jersey. As I described in my second post on this blog, one day I decided to go for a walk with Larry. I couldn't keep up with his long legged pace, so I began to jog a bit. Seeing my jog, he began to run. I had no choice but to follow. So began my running career. Like my aunt and uncle before me, I became a runner in my 40's.
If biology is destiny, then I guess, like Bruce Springsteen, baby, I was born to run. I love every second of it - the freedom I feel with the wind blowing my hair, the belief that if I could run, I could do anything, the runner's high I get every single time I lace up my Newtons to go out for a run. Running has gotten me through some pretty incredible times. I have met amazing people on this running road, and have had some crazy cool experiences. To date I have run 33 races, and hope to run at least another 333 more.
I have emailed Uncle Sandy countless times for tips on running, and he is always quick with a response. Ask a newspaperman for advice and you get that and more! Both he and Aunt Mary were an inspiration and help to me when I started running marathons. Celebrating with them and other family and friends after the NYC marathon, a marathon they had also run several times, was one of the highlights of my life. And running with them, both here in Melbourne (my son Danny joined in on that race!) and at last weekend's Gasparilla 5K, was nothing short of epic.
Celebrating after Gasparilla 5K with my parents, Aunt Mary, Uncle Sandy, Liana, and Josh
I look forward to many more races with Larry, Aunt Mary, Uncle Sandy, Danny, and anyone else who wants to join me for a run. But watch out - before you know it, you may become addicted as well. You will look at each day as another chance to get out there and feel that wind in your hair, believe that if you can run, you can do anything, experience that runner's high...