Monday, 20 February 2017

Saved By A Water Fountain

Did I ever tell you about my first experience entering the world of fitness? I was in my second year of university and still undecided about which field of study to enter. One afternoon I ran into an old friend who had enrolled in MUN's Phys Ed program. As we talked, I thought to myself, "That's what I should do! I've been wanting to get in shape and what better way to do it!"

I went home and signed up for my first class. I was pumped, so excited to get out there and get started.

On the first day of class we had to meet on the soccer field by the Phys Ed building. I was looking the part in my new MUN sweatshirt that I bought for the occasion, so happy to finally have made a decision about my future. Our first task was to run laps around the field. No problem! I always considered myself a good sprinter so running slower around the field should be a piece of cake.

Like a lot of newbies, I started off faster than I should have. I was doing my best to keep up with the others who obviously had been running since the age of two. I managed several laps before my lungs started burning and my classmates starting passing me one by one.

I remember thinking "Surely the instructor is going to tell us to stop any minute now." I ran another lap, convincing myself that this would be the last one, the whistle would blow and we would get to collapse on the field. Didn't happen.

My legs felt like they were on fire. My new sweatshirt felt like a survival suit. I was dying. I was being lapped. Who knew that you had to be in shape BEFORE you joined the Phys Ed program?

As I got to the end of another lap, I knew I couldn't go on. I stopped next to the instructor and told him I needed to go grab some water. He directed me to the fountain inside. I headed in, walked straight through the building and out the other side. Then I went home and dropped the class.

I kept thinking about that experience as I ran with the group last week. The other RK's were AWOL for various reasons so I ran with Batman and some of his posse. I started out running with most of these people when I first joined PRC, but over the past few years, they have all improved so much that I can't keep up with them anymore. However, on this night, there I was, smack dab in the middle of the group, not at the back, not being lapped, not dying, no burning lungs. I was keeping up with the others and all I could think was how impressed that girl at the PE Building would be with me now.

I've learned a lot about running since my university days but I think the most important lesson I learned is if you want to enjoy running, you have to run for yourself and do what works for you. Which is why I train the way I do:

The best part - I can wear my PRC sweatshirt for most of this training and not have to worry about overheating. Or where to find the closest water fountain.

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