Random Fitness Story: When I was a kid, circa oh.. I won’t age myself… let’s say grade seven… I was a chubby little kid with a dusty old pair of running shoes. My teacher volun-told me that I would be running in a trail race because someone else (clearly an athlete) was sick. With little training (let’s say ‘nil’ on a scale of 1-10) and only that ‘old dusty pair of running shoes’ and my ratty old gym class sweat pants, did I embark on my first real bout of fitness…It was more of a battle- Running against me, and let’s just saying running was in full body armour with a sword and I was armed with good will and a dull pointed stick.
I felt rather confident at the start line, despite my lack of training and figured “how bad could this really be?” The gun went off (I don’t really recall if there was a gun or if perhaps there was a waved flag of some colour that has clearly slipped my mind…) signifying the start of the race and we were off. At first I felt amazing… the wind blowing in my hair, the sound of footfalls echoing through the woods. I couldn’t believe it! I was actually running- I was an ATHLETE! At this moment I was pretty proud of myself. As the trail grew muddier, and hillier, and more challenging I could feel myself slip further and further behind the pack of runners until it got to the point where there were only a few lone runner rangers and myself. This was it! I couldn’t come last. I tripped at this point and almost fell, being the klutz that I am. I realized at that moment that I was in fact at the back of the pack- last in the race. Tres sad and hard for my junior teen-aged self to accept.
We were nearing the end of the race, I could hear the cheering and yelling getting louder. All of a sudden I saw a kid dart into the bushes. The kid was bent over, accompanied by a watchful race marshall, hurling his guts out. Another kid suddenly stopped because they needed their asthma puffer and couldn’t find it. I knew this would be my great break. I ran at that moment faster than I’d ever run before (0.2 kms/hr??!) Did I stop to help or ask if anyone was okay? No way! I was an ‘athlete.’ I had a race to.. uhm.. win.
For the rest of the day I wore that participant badge proud, and when anyone asked me how I did- I proudly answered that I came 113th out of 115 participants (I left out the part about the asthmatic kid and the barfer) and decided at that moment that ‘this’ was where I belonged.
My point is, we all start somewhere
Note From the Author: I’m actually a (self-proclaimed) really nice person and had the race officials not already been there for these kids I would have stopped running to help. I by no means encourage or condone ignorance- but use this example for humour, not for a ‘what to do when.. .” ♥