It's okay to go through life utterly without grace—just going through it is enough.
When I run, I have no grace whatsoever. I waddle like an angry pregnant duck. If I'm ever forced to look at a video of me running, I'll hide under the table. But hey, I feel terrific when it's over, and I'm getting some amazing cardio exercise.
I wish I could say that I learned the value of humility (also known as completely sucking at somethng) by running. Actually, I learned it when I discovered that I have no talent whatsoever at playing tennis. Running just confirmed this discovery. For a perfectionist, having to admit that I have no athletic bones in my body is a truly humbling experience. But I love doing it. And at least I can't be ultra obnoxiously competitive (as I usually get when trying something new, nursing this hope that I'll turn out to be some unknown latent talent that was just bursting to be unleashed with the first lesson) when I know there's no hope in being the best. Ever.
Any amount of effort is good for me.
It's really okay to just run (or walk) for fifteen minutes. No runner will go out her way to jump out of her SUV, point at you and laugh her head off. And if your body can only stand fifteen minutes at the beginning, don't try to be a weekend warrior. There's plenty of time for reflection and regret in the ER.
It's okay to go tiny step by step- really. Pushing myself to do too much too soon just burns me out. It stops being an accomplishment and I lose a sense of wonder in small things. And it stops being fun.
I like warm weather better.
When I moved out of Texas temporarily, I was excited about running in cool or cold weather. I figured it would be better just for the reduction in sweat. I would finally get a chance to wear those cute little caps and running tights.
Ah, no as it turns out. I'm much happier sweating my hair out in August in Austin. At least there's no black ice to slip on. Turns out the body does acclimate and you really can turn into a wimp by moving south. And you should probably stay there once that happens.
Dry wicking is the way to go.
I honestly thought that the dry wicking thing was just a way to part me with my money. One sweaty back stuck to a cotton t-shirt taught me that I was wrong. Very wrong. I was also unaware that sweating on a cold day can feel just as weird. Dry wicking effectively eliminates that problem.
So apparently not every “technological breakthrough” is a scam. Dry wick is sold at places and times other than 3am infomercials.
Just by going out there, I am a runner.
I always feel like such a poser when I go out to run. I think it stems from the whole “I have no athletic bone in my body” thing. But even as the greenest beginner with no experience whatsoever, I can still call myself a runner. Just running makes me a runner—I don't even have to join an association to become one.
And when I started, I expected another runner to strike up a long conversation that featured terms like “negative splits,” or “long runs.” I planned on countering with “I just managed to run for a whole thirty minutes!” with a smile. So far I've only encountered civilians who are impressed just with the “I'm a runner” bit.
If I completely fall off of the wagon, there's really no shame in starting right back at square one.
I lost count of how many times I had to quit midway through starting a running program (usually during about week 3) due to injuries, moving, sickness or inclimate weather. Having to start back at week one going for two minutes running followed by three minutes walking is annoying and humiliating, but I stuck with it because getting a regular running program was important to me.
Starting back at point zero isn't the end of the world. I can build my way back up and probably enjoy the process of building myself back up. A setback isn't the same thing as a finale.