I started running when I was in 6th grade. Everyone was jogging back then, and me being impressionable and young, joined in.
Little did I know that I would really dig it. There was something exhilarating about putting on my Walkman and pounding the pavement that helped me shut out the rest of the world. I ran up into the canyons that surrounded Salt Lake City, especially by the Capital. From there, you had the perfect view of the valley below.
When I moved back to New Jersey, there wasn’t as much freedom to run. I had the choice of suburban streets or the high school track. I would, but my heart wasn’t completely committed. After college, I moved to central NJ and would run along the tow path. I ran through the Princeton campus. I found the solace and solitude I sought on the trail from years before.
As time went on, I stopped again. I was busy, I didn’t have time. I was a mom now, running wasn’t necessary. I was running after my child. I’d dust off my sneakers, create a playlist and “train” for a breast cancer 5k every year. That was the extent of it.
I recently joined a women’s running group, and now that the weather is improving, will be joining them on group runs. It beats the dreadmill any day. I need the motivation. I need to reconnect with that feeling all those years ago. I may be slower than a turtle in peanut butter but I ran.