For most of my twenties I had declared (more times than I can count) that this would be the year that I became a runner. My twenties passed me by with plenty of attempts but my confidence held me back. As I write this I am thinking back and realizing this all started in my teens. I was on the track team and quickly learned that I was a decent shot putter. My coach told me I should be a good sprinter and I ran many 100 meter dashes to come in last every time. I stuck to being a 'putter and only ran for exercise. One of my drills was to run with the long distance runners who were working on tempo runs. Being competitive I did my best to keep up and I realized it felt good, what I hadn't realized is I really needed was to learn to pace myself and thought this was a fluke event. My coach hadn't seen that my potential either. It never occurred to me that I may be better at running miles instead of 100 meters. If I couldn't do a sprint how could I do long distances? On my days off from practice I would set out to run just to walk back home out of breathe in a few minutes. As badly was I had wanted to be a runner, it just wasn't happening. As badly as I wanted to feel strong, confident, graceful and to be able to lose myself in something I just couldn't seem to do it. Last summer when I set out to start -and hopefully complete- my goal of running three miles I didn't know how I was going to get to one mile. I did and did it ever feel amazing. I had no idea how amazing it would feel. My hopes were in part shallow, maybe I would look better in my cut-offs... but I was looking for strength, focus and confidence too. I had no idea where this path would take me and I am forever grateful for the encouragement I received along the way. Now I run home and can't wait to share with Pa (my adopted grandfather), curls and my parents how many miles I just conquered and how long it took.
My first mile was here, around a pond our track team ran to during winter track practices.
I guess there were a few occasions which I was able to get some miles in, I just needed to find a friend and go, pacing just wasn't something that came naturally to me. That feeling of accomplishment and strength is why I had always wanted to find the runner in me.
A year later I was wondering how to celebrate.
Last summer while I was doing my couch to 5k program (for the countless time) I had been driving to this pond to run around. It was a nice little escape from the city and being new to road running I was a little put off by the crazy traffic here in my home town.
It occurred to me the way to celebrate was to run to the pond and take a couple of laps around it. No car, just my body putting one foot in front of the other.
Running to this pond means running from the lowest part of my city to the highest part. A route which gave me a crash course in learning to drive a standard.
In my year of running I had set a goal to conquer those hills, non stop, and did I ever conquer it. What I had feared I now try and make a weekly run.
Up the hills I went, past my high school, reminding me of how far I have come and how awesome it is that I couldn't do this as a 15 year old with endless energy but as a 36 year old I am DOING THIS!
Around the pond I went. Once slowly to take photos to capture the moment. Once at my steady speed to celebrate the moment.
In one short year I have turned one mile into eight (my furthest so far).
On this one year celebration I cut my run down to six miles. This freckled girls doesn't fair well in the heat and I am learning to accept this and not be too hard on myself. I want to continue to be madly in love with running, not cursing it -well, there is definitely cursing in running. I am looking forward to autumn (for running purposes only) because something tells me that eight miles won't be the struggle it is now. In fact I hope to celebrate the one year anniversary of my first 5k race by running a half marathon. Whether I run an official one or just run my city streets I am going to train and meet this goal.
Running the same routes, altering them for distance, is rewarding. Every turn, lap and loop makes me realize how far I have come. As seasons change it reminds me of how we all grow and thrive if we push ourselves to.
I love looking back at the maps of my runs and planning where to add a few extra blocks, adding up miles in my head, trying to choke back the fears of can I do this and proving that I can.
As I extend my routes I wonder what flowers I will see where, the colors of the houses I will run past and what else will catch my eye. As always the journey inspires me, my jewelry... Going places on foot gives me a new appreciation for my surroundings, the big picture gets lost in the beauty of details.
Running has taught me so many lessons. Find beauty where you live. Be inspired by details. Observe the different colors the seasons have to offer. I clear my mind and take these observations to my studio. As I walk to the third floor to get to my studio try and embrace the aches and pains of my run, knowing my body is getting stronger, making it so I can travel the distances I aim for. At the bench I find new ways to incorporate colors and textures I have seen while running on the pavement in the city I dwell in. Strength, confidence, clarity and beauty is what I take with me from pounding the pavement. I am discovering to treat your body well is to treat your mind just as well.
ps: all photos are taken with the hipstamatic app.
pps: i hope you don't mind these little glimpses of my life and inspiration as they are all part of me just as much as being a jeweler is.
ppps: i had written what my memory considers to be a much better intro than what is here. next i need to master pesky computer issues.