I haven’t always been a runner. It’s a habit that I started cultivating in my mid teens. Now, I can jog two to four miles without stopping. And yet, before I acquired this stamina, I got myself into situations that required me to run incredibly long distances. You can guess how that ended up.

While living in England I attended a school called Branston Community College. Once a year they had this summer exercise program where we got the day off from school work. The catch? We had to run.

While we were rated as teams, we ran individually. Each teacher would sign one or more people to each race. I can’t speak for the others, but our teacher allowed people to volunteer rather than assign them. They had everything from the 100 meter straight up to 1600 and beyond. Naturally, the shorter races got snagged up first. I ended up with the 1600 meter one. Mentally, I shrugged my shoulders. After all, how hard could it be.

As it turns out–pretty darn difficult. I’ve never been good at math so I didn’t realize that I–who’d only jogged across streets–was expected to run the equivalent of a mile. And without stopping. Suffice to say it was a miserable experience. It wasn’t long before my lungs burned and a horrendous stitch worked its way up my side. And of course there were my competitors. I’m not a fast person–might be because I’m rail thin without muscle. But its down right ridiculous to not only be in last place, but have EVERYONE finish a lap or more ahead of you.

I eventually came to a gasping, stumbling stop. Once I’d regained my ability to breath–and stand unassisted–I got to wander around at my leisure. As I mentioned before, this was an annual occurrence. I’d like to say that I learned from this lesson and jumped on one of the shorter sprints so I didn’t have to torture myself. Unfortunately, history repeated itself.

And, alas, I did not learn.


Disclaimer: I do not own the imagery used in this blog post and have no artistic claim to it.


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