I havenâ€™t always been a marathon runner. In fact, I wasnâ€™t even a regular runner until I was in my 20â€™s. I didnâ€™t play any sports in school, my parents werenâ€™t physically active, and there was no role model for me follow into a world of fitness. My journey into physical activity was about as organic as it gets â€“ after my 15 year old heart was broken for the first time, I had an overwhelming urge to run away from everything. There was an anxious twitch that overtook my body and my agitation was directed out on a trail. So I ran for a bit, and I felt better. Like I might be able to wake up the next day and live a bit longer.
I remember the first morning I ran to my high school without stopping. It was just before it got too cold to run in
I continued to take gym every quarter for the rest of high school. Kickboxing, advanced weights, step class, and so on. I began using the family gym membership. I was enough of a regular that one of the group fitness instructors told me I was a â€œnaturalâ€ and I should look into personal training.
And here I am.
I write this because some of you have never been â€œfitâ€. You may tell yourself that you arenâ€™t good at it, itâ€™s been too long, you are too old, you donâ€™t belong. The only reason I never ran track in high school is because I told myself I wasnâ€™t good enough. In order to even be good enough to make a high school team, I should have been running in junior high. Or elementary school. I told myself it was too late for me. I never even bothered to look into tryouts, because I â€œknewâ€ Iâ€™d never make it and I didnâ€™t want to face that rejection. At 16, I was a washout. Past my prime. Put me out to pasture!
I now see how ridiculous that is. I hope you do, too. We are only limited by the barriers we lock ourselves into. My last year in high school I volunteered at a hospital with dietitians to make sure nutrition was the right career choice for me and I met a woman in her 60â€™s doing her internship â€“ she had decided in her late 50â€™s to make a career change. Whenever I tell myself itâ€™s too late for me, I think of her.
It never has to be too late.