Day One

My eyes struggle to open as the alarm sounds to my left.  I flail around in a pile of sheets in search of a snooze button.

It’s still dark outside.  Why on earth am I up so early?

I slowly start to remember.  Today is day one.  The day I vowed to start the journey to become something I’ve always wanted to be: a runner.  I groan and hit snooze, thinking of any excuse imaginable to let me sleep the extra hour I believe I so desperately need.

  1. I have a busy day at work today.
  2. I can run after work.
  3. I can run tomorrow.
  4. Do I even need to run, anyways?

The nine-minute snooze alarm startles me awake and I jump out of bed.  I can do this.  I’m awake.  The hard part is over, right?

Shoes are thrown on.  Phone is charged and playlist is set.  I’m ready.  The training app I downloaded starts me off with a warm-up.  I feel my muscles loosen as I make my way to the closest greenway.  The stretch causes a dull ache due to recent lack of use but I push on.

Five minutes pass by in a flash and it’s time to run.  I set off at a quick pace, immediately realizing it’s too fast for someone who hasn’t even jogged in over a year.  I slow, noticing that another five minutes has rapidly passed.  My legs hurt.  My chest hurts.  I try to remember to breathe while rubbing my face clean of the sweat that has started to drip down.

I keep going, cursing myself for this ridiculous goal of becoming a runner, especially at five in the morning.  I’ve never been able to run.  Having to run the mile during gym class in high school was always my least favorite day of the year.  I barely made it each time without passing out.  Why did I think I could do this?

I push on, forcing myself not to stop.  I only have ten more minutes to go and then a cold shower will greet me at home.  My legs ache with a pain I haven’t experienced in months.  They shake with each step while my knees threaten to buckle at every turn.  I force myself to breathe along with my steps, to gain a rhythm I know I have to find to succeed.  Sweat pours down my face as the temperature and humidity rise around me.

Suddenly, the app whispers in my ear, ‘Congratulations.  You’ve finished day one.  Please begin your cool down.’

Huh.  That wasn’t so bad.

Nine weeks to go.

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