It was not exactly a straight forward decision, though. It came with much resistance. I was the girl who HATED cardio, I made fun of runners, I thought it was a useless activity and I was happy as a clam with my weights and my HIIT workouts.
Well, things change, even if you don’t want them to. Funny how that happens. I started doing intermittent fasting and found that lifting weights on an empty stomach was not working out for me. So, I started lifting in the afternoons which meant I was not doing anything in the mornings.
At first this was fine because I was getting to sleep in and I was really enjoying how my body was reacting to intermittent fasting. After about a week? I was itching to be active in the mornings. I tried taking BCAAs (Branch Chain Amino Acids) before morning weight sessions and that even worked for awhile but I needed a change, I just didn’t know what that change was going to look like.
I honestly had no desire to start running at this point and that first morning that I decided to get outside and start moving was JUST so that I could have some “me” time and listen to a podcast! All I did was walk briskly, it was nice walking at a regular “non-kids” pace.
Then one day I just started moving my feet faster. I didn’t even set out with the intention to “jog” or “run”, I just did it. It felt odd but good. The air hit my face harder, my feet hit the pavement harder AND I was moving quicker. Weird. . .all of it was weird. I didn’t even consider what I was doing as running for the longest time, I actually refused to call myself a runner because I felt like I wasn’t good enough yet.
It wasn’t until I set a goal for running 5k (in a single run of course) by the end of August, that I really started to feel like a runner. After that run, I felt transformed. Maybe this is silly but I felt like I earned some kind of badge that I could tell people about like, “yeah, I ran a 5k, this was my time, this is how fast I went” or something like that.
Now, a month later, there is no doubt in my mind that I am a runner but, I look back to those first days and I realize that I was a runner then too. I realize now, that I should have embraced runner status sooner. Being a beginner was NOT something I should have shied away from or been embarrassed about. Being a beginner opens up an amazing world of possibility. And not embracing your beginner status means denying yourself these possibilities. Being a beginner means seeing everything on the path in front of you and thinking that any of it could someday be yours. Being a beginner is vulnerable, it is also a powerful position to be in.
The vulnerability lies in being on the first step while everyone else is paced out in front of us, but all are “ahead”. We see the gap between us and the more experienced as something to conquer, we see it as a race, when instead, as beginners, we to need to realize that being on the first step means that we are not behind, we are just new. This newness makes being a beginner powerful.
Being new is powerful because instead of having to prove ourselves, as many experienced people feel they have to, we get to call the shots and ask the big questions like “Where path do I want to take with this?” and “What do I want to focus my attention on within this greater subject?” Maybe, as it applies to running, the answer is a 5k or a 10k. Maybe though, the answer is, “I just want to have fun for now.” When you are a beginner, there is no correct answer, there is no need to set a goal, and there is no need to have a plan.
Beginner status is all about exploration and surrendering to something brand spanking new, its letting the world know that you know nothing but that you are ready to start. Revel in this vulnerability but also realize that it is your greatest power too. Remember, everyone you are comparing yourself to, all those people who are ahead of you, they were once beginners exploring something new. Take time in this moment, enjoy this power that you have, feel it, you are not going to get it back.