Thoughts: What it feels like to be on a team
This weekend is certainly a big one in the city of Boston. The marathon draws people from all over the world, to watch some of the finest runners of all time. I remember when I was younger, I would wonder what it was like to run 26 miles. I never imagined even thinking that I might do that someday.
As I was a runner in my teens and 20’s, I had been bitten with the running bug. Once it gets into your system, it never ever leaves. I did get married, and then have two children, and life got very hectic. I had to put aside my running, hiking, tennis, skiing, volleyball, and biking. There just wasn’t any time for it anymore. Working full time at the hospital and having two children was all I could handle.
As the years went by, my weight increased to the point that I soon found myself to be almost 300lbs. It didn’t happen overnight and I realize that getting rid of it doesn’t happen overnight either. It takes a lot of work and will power. Many times I would pass by a window or mirror and call myself a “cow” or a “moose” and then instantly feel like crap because of it. I finally got to the point where I avoided my reflection as much as possible.
At Christmas 2011, I made up my mind that I was not going to look like that anymore and I was going to do something about it. Well, I did, and here I am, 75lbs lighter. I thank God for the Weight Watchers program and my leader Dawn Cowan, who offers sound and helpful advice to those in the program. I couldn’t have gotten this far without her guidance.
I decided last summer to start running races. I figured that I had done it when I was younger, so it must be easy enough to pick it back up, right? Wrong. I found out that my 50 year old body just didn’t have what it had when I was younger. I didn’t give up my fight, but I finally had to admit to myself that it was going to take a whole lot more work than I had anticipated.
Fast forward to 2013. I have started my running/racing season full swing, with 15 events that I have signed up for. Back in February I realized that I wasn’t making any progress with my running, and if I was going to run the Sugarloaf 15K in May, and my first Half Marathon in October, I needed to step things up a notch. I ended up contacting Coach Caleb Masland and asking for help, to which he agreed.
Now I will get to the point of this post. “What it feels like to be on a team”. When I was younger, I struggled hard with trying to fit in. I was always the one left behind and not included and no matter what I did, I just couldn’t seem to make it work for me. I was on this team, and that team at school, and yes, we all worked together for a common goal, but I never really, felt like I was “part of the group”. Basically I shut my feelings down, and created a void in myself so that I could survive school and get out on my own. Once I did, life became one wonderful event after another. 🙂
I am now part of the team “Wicked BonkProof” thanks to Coach Caleb. This team consists of 50 or more runners, all who are striving to make it to the next level in their running. I find myself on facebook, reading through all of the posts of my teammates and wondering how they got to where they are now.. running 4min-8min miles… that is just so amazing to me. To think that I am lucky enough to even “say” that I am on that team just blows my mind. They come from all over, but have a common goal to be the best athlete that they can. I wonder what makes them “tick”.. what type of training have they had, did they run when they were kids? Or teens? I have so many questions for all of them.
I am not even close to becoming someone who can run that fast. I have a long long way to go. Last summer I was running a 12 min mile, just struggling with every step to keep moving. Now I am up to a 10min mile with the help of Coach Caleb, but it’s still not where I need to be. I want so much to be able to say that I am a runner and not feel like I’m not. Does that make sense? Yes, Im a runner, but in my heart, I’m not there yet. I am pushing myself harder and seeing results.. but I wish it was going faster. That’s human nature I guess. I spend countless hours reading running blogs and articles to try and increase my knowledge of the human body, gait, performance… you name it, I read about it. That includes every single Daily Mile post my teammates make.
I feel that being part of this team is helping to make me “whole” as a runner and a person. I belong to a group that doesn’t judge, but is incredibly encouraging and insightful. I hope they understand that this is a very big deal to me, as I mentioned before, fitting in was not my forte’ before now. I have this incredible thirst for knowledge about running, and corresponding with my teamies whether it be on facebook or twitter, is very important to me. I was quite bummed that I didn’t get to go to Boston this weekend to meet up with some of them. This was my weekend for call at the hospital so it was out of the question. I am thinking I might run the Boston 5K next year. Fingers crossed!
My mind will be on my teammates and Caleb tomorrow as they run the Boston Marathon. I have friends from home running it too, and I will be watching and waiting for the results to come via text messages to my phone. I wish them all the best and I hope they all have a great run with PR’s for everyone!
Thank you TeamWickedBonkProof for being the great team that you are.
This article was originally posted by Louise Cunningham on Runnersramblings.com.