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A History of Running May 13, 2008

Posted by Joe in personal.

This is not THE history of running, but a history of running. My running, more specifically.

circa 1978. The first memory I have of running – really running – was as a 5/6 year old kid. It was starting to get dark and I was running like mad to get home “on time.” Running up Lincoln St., fists and legs pumping. I was afraid of being late, but loved the running. One of the axioms of childhood is, Running is fun. My own children reflect this truth almost every day. All kids are runners.

circa 1989. The next real running memory I have is from high school gym class. Back then I fit a particular stereotype. You know: long hair, metal t-shirts, tight jeans and white, untied high-tops. I didn’t “do” sports or gym class. I didn’t dress out or participate much, and when I did things were a little crazy. But one year the teacher was having us run. I don’t recall the distance, but on the spur of the moment I decided to tie my shoes and run, rather than walk the track with my friends. Turns out I could run back then. Who knew? I beat out a lot of the gym jocks and athletes while running in my street clothes, complete with a jean jacket emblazoned with Iron Maiden and Megadeth decals.

circa 1993-1997. College. Actually I didn’t run once in college. I was too busy reading, eating a lot of take-out, and putting on 40 lbs.

circa 1998. Grad school. I was fat and thought I should “exercise.” I ran an indoor track and found it to be one of the worst physical experiences of my life. Really. Worse than vomiting, fist-fights and near-drowning.

circa 2000. My BMI whispers a secret in my ear, “Pssst. You are obese fat-boy.” So a friend (an Iron Man athlete and trainer) laid out a walk/run program for me. It lasted one morning. I came back from that running experience and collapsed on my bathroom floor sincerely wondering if my wife would walk in and find me dead.

May 29th 2007. This part is more complicated, but I’ll summarize and say there was a catalyst, something clicked, and I went fro a run one morning – around the block. Once. That day I began reconsidering the value of that childhood axiom and eventually embraced it. Running is fun. I’ve been running and loving it since.



1. AndrewE - May 13, 2008

Great post Joe. Running is fun indeed.

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