Many people start a fitness program as a personal resolution. I was blackmailed. During my sophomore year of high school my older sister (and ride home from school) decided to join the Cross Country team and begged me to do it with her. She said she wanted company but I think she just wanted to make sure she wasn’t the slowest one on the team. I flat-out refused but only held strong for a few weeks, at which point I decided that running had to be better than taking the bus home. I was wrong.

It was miserable those first few weeks. Our coach would give us a route and then set up water stations at a few points in the middle, but my sister and I were always so slow that he’d moved to the next station before we got there. It ended up being just me and her running on our own, struggling to make it during the route around town and then pushing it when we got close to school so the boys’ soccer team would see us at our fastest. Then we’d hop in her Pontiac Sunbird and curse running the whole ride home. If we weren’t so competitive with each other I think we both would’ve quit.

Last week I signed up for my first marathon. It’s been a goal of mine ever since I finished that first Cross Country season and realized what my body could do with regular training. I know the next four months will be a lot of hard work, and I’m nervous about overstressing a body that has been so good to me through so many different exercises (yoga! spinning! half marathons! TRX!) over the past 15 years. But beneath the unavoidable trepidations, I’m mostly just excited to pursue this lifelong goal and see once again how far my body can take me. And I’m thrilled to have my awesome husband and great friend Lisa joining me for the ride. xo

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