During my run this morning, I was passed on a steep uphill climb by about 15 cross-country high school runners. Their 30-ish feet thundered past me at an impressive pace, and I recalled my school years as an athlete:
I was never an athlete.
In fact, when I was 5, my gym teacher, Ms. Neibher, told my mom that I "wasn't competitive". We're talking dodgeball and cartwheels here.
In high school, I opted out of gym class my junior and senior years and took a study hall instead...which I ditched with impressive regularity. I suppose I got a psuedo-workout trying to evade the Truancy Officers.
In college, I gained about 10 pounds due to frequent inactivity and continued to avoid exercise at all costs. Finally, at 21, I began hitting the gym, dropped the weight, and kept active with weights and cardio machines. I'd reckon to guess I logged about 10 miles/week on treadmills and the like.
Then, 3 years ago this past April, I met my friend Julie, who had, just 2 days earlier, run the LA Marathon. As she hobbled in to the story editors room, I voiced my amazement that anyone could run a marathon. Her reply?
"You kidding me? You could run one."
And that's all it took.
10 months later, I ran my first 50k. 6 weeks later, I ran the LA Marathon. I guess she was right.
So, from an incredibly unathletic past, I now find myself regularly finishing in the top 25% of the pack in ultras. Kind of amazing.
Maybe I'll give Ms. Neibher a jingle and see if she wants to hit the track with me sometime.