Your Permission Slip

you are a runner

Back in 2008, I signed myself up for boot camp with a single goal:  I wanted to be able to do a military style REAL push-up by my 40th birthday.  Three weeks later, I did three!

Three months in, after running and working out three days a week in the company of my compatriots at WoW! Boot Camp, I felt better than I had ever felt about my body.  Not that it was getting thin–but I was getting STRONG.  I decided to jump on the bandwagon and sign myself up for a 5K.  

But to train for a 5K, I needed to increase my cardio training, which meant I would need to do some work on my own.  In the daylight.  Without my coach.  And someone who wasn’t also a member of the group might see me…exercising.  So my coach came up to me one morning (at 5:WTH30 in the morning) and asked if I had a training plan.  I stuttered, “Um, well, I thought I would start using the elliptical in my basement until I can do about 45 minutes worth because that will equate to about the same amount of effort…”  She looked at me sideways and said, “Nobody ever ran a 5K on an elliptical.  Why don’t you go outside and run?”  The immediate answer in my head was “Because someone might see me and laugh,” but I knew better than to say that to April.  I didn’t have an answer for her.  She suggested that I map out a 1.5 mile route from my house and go out and back, running as much as I could and walking the rest until I could work up to running the whole thing.  Easy Peasy.  

I was terrified to run in public because I felt like I needed a permission slip.  Wouldn’t “real” runners laugh at me if they saw in my $124 New Balance shoes and my double reinforced titanium running bra, size 40G (the G is for GOTDAMMM!)?  I took my dog with me so I could use him as an excuse to be out in public, taking up sidewalk, breathing the fresh air and pretending I was an athlete.  I started to run.  Just run.  I went at night so no one would see me, or on Sunday mornings when the mean people might be busy at church or still in jail.  

No test to pass.  No license to earn.  No membership card.  Just run.  

I finished my first 5K on a rainy Saturday morning.  I had to walk some.  Everyone there was nice to me.  I was scared to look over my shoulder during the race because I thought the only thing still behind me was the police car bringing up the rear.  But I did it and I was so proud of myself that I wore my number straight to a Weight Watchers meeting.  

So let this quote from John Bingham be your permission slip.  It doesn’t even have to be about running.  Replace the word “run” with sing, zip line, act, date, write, blog, swim, whatever you wish you had permission to do.  

13 thoughts on “Your Permission Slip

  1. MelanieL

    Just keep running … Just keeping running … Does this mean you are strapping on the shoes again???

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  2. Tara

    So true. We so often feel like we need to have permission to do something, that we are not really eligible to try our hands (or feet) at something. So proud of and thankful for you. Going to make sure Aub reads this one for sure!
    As an aside, “when the mean people might be busy at church” made me giggle and sigh. Too true. Been there experienced that.
    I hope if you do get back to running, it’s whenever you doggone well want to. Here’s to forgetting about the mean people and letting all that go!

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  3. Karenmbres

    Haha! It so reminded me if my first “race”. A 10K. Always the overachiever! I was right back with that cop car! I actually didn’t come in last, I came in 2nd to last. To a 68 year old lady. :). Lesson in humility right there. But I was “running” that same course months later and had another runner cross the street t

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  4. Karenmbres

    To talk to me – turns out he coached college track and field for years! Best advice I ever had. I am getting close to running again as well , just can’t seem to make myself. I last ram the country music 1/2 in 2008, then was going to take 2 weeks off training. Ooops. My friend that I ran with just passed this year from pancreatic cancer (we had done it for another friend who passed from leukemia with TNT). It’s time. It’s time to get off my butt for myself and finding a way to honor him. :). Thanks for letting me know I’m not the only one. 🙂

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  5. Mattie

    This is too funny! It reminds me when I did my first 5k in Bosnia. I had nothing better to do on my off time while deployed there so I worked out and ran all the time, so I was in great shape, so when they decided to do a 5k there, I signed up knowing I would do great…well, while running, many out of shape looking people passed me…and then I looked back and the only thing that was behind me was a large formation of about 40 people that was getting ready to pass me, so I had to speed up because I didn’t want to be the last one in and have them pass me up 🙂 That is when I realized, I was not a fast runner…..but I could run all day….just very slow….no matter how slow you go, you are still lapping the person still on the couch!!!

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