There is a song on the radio these days, that just gets to me. It’s called, Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye. It’s got a unique sound and the lyrics just stick in my head. It makes me think of the 1960’s and has an unusual bohemian feel to it. And it is stuck in my brain.
The idea is that someone you knew well, is well, now, just someone you used to know. We all have people in our lives that were everything to us, we thought about them all the time, talked with them daily and couldn’t imagine life without them. Then, somehow, one of them moved on, moved over, got lost in the shuffle, hurt us (or us them).
I got to thinking, what if this ‘someone’ is instead a ‘something’? Something we did every day, worked hard to improve and got something in return? And then, for some reason, you stopped doing that thing. That thing you loved.
For me that was running. But first, you have to know that for my whole life I hated running. I refused to play basketball when I was a teenager because I hated running. News flash: I am 5′ 10″. I was probably that height in high school! My best friend played for the school team; she’s about 5′ 6″. The coach would see me and look at me with confusion in his eyes and just shake his head at me. He finally gave up.
After my son was born, I was desperate to lose the baby weight I had gained. It was A LOT. As a new (working) mom, it’s hard to find the time to exercise so I figured I better find something I could do that did not require finding childcare or waiting until my husband got home, or it would never happen.
I took a running clinic through our locally owned running store and that was the best decision. The coaches taught me how to run. What? It’s not like riding a bike, or learning how to windsurf. You need someone to teach you how to RUN? Yes. They taught me how to run successfully and in a way that left me wanting more each time I completed a training exercise. What I learned transformed me from someone who hated to run into someone who learned how to run and finally into someone who loved to run. I didn’t think it was possible, I just figured it would be something I would just do. You know, channel the whole Nike spirit and just do it. Dig in, get disciplined and just do the work. Whether I liked it or not. So, I bought a jogging stroller, a pair of shoes and hit the road.
I started logging the miles and found it freeing, liberating and exciting when I could improve my time or complete a new distance; and I still remember the first time I got ‘the runner’s high’. And I thought the whole thing was a myth!
Despite my protests, a friend of mine talked me into doing a race and you’d think we’d start with a 5k, but nope, we did a 12k. I thought I was going to collapse, but she stayed with me the whole time and we finished together. Not her best time, for sure! I got hooked and kept running, taking the kid along in the jogging stroller with me most days. Looking back, I treasure our runs and the time we spent together out on the road; we logged a lot of miles together. It was a sad day when it was time to pass on the jogging stroller.
I kept running and did more races; 5ks, 10ks, worked up to my first half marathon and ended up training along side the owner of our local running store, where it all started for me. That was exhilarating to know I could do that, that I had 13.1 miles in me. They weren’t the fastest miles, but they were all mine. I still remember that day ever so clearly and coming in to the finish line, seeing my husband and my son and my best friend who made a comment about being inspired. She’s a runner to this day!
I loved what running gave me; early mornings, accomplishment, muscles, goals, strength, discipline. Completion. Ownership. A clearer mind. And yes, the baby weight came off. Slowly; I shed it one mile at a time. I ran every race I could; 5ks, 10ks, 10 milers, more half marathons, a triathlon and eventually I completed two marathons. I cried during that first marathon; there was something about an accomplishment I had always envisioned as being beyond me.
I kept running and loved it. I scaled back on races – finding it more difficult to fit in the specific training programs with a full-time job and a kiddo with more and more activities and a husband with a crazy work schedule. But I kept running, enjoying the hard work and the payoff. And then somehow, at some point, I stopped. I can’t even say why. I can’t remember. I guess it’s like a friend that you just let slip away. One day becomes a week, one week becomes a year and so on and then it’s ‘just something you used to know”. I started working out with some friends at a boot camp and that became my go-to workout – which I still do and love it. I love the push, the intensity, the challenge and the camaraderie and the ever changing nature of it – it’s a different workout every time.
But I miss running. I miss the one-on-one time. I miss the quiet conversation we had. I miss the time to reflect on my days. I miss the challenge. I miss the feeling, and I miss the relationship. I don’t expect another notch in my marathon belt, but I don’t want running to just be something I used to know.
We went to a party last weekend, a celebration of 50 years of marriage. 50 years. But what has that got to do with running? The brothers of the couple got up to give a toast, just like they did at the wedding 50 years ago. The ‘bride and groom’ were praised for their steadfast love, for all they do for their whole family and the love the share. Memories were recounted and the ‘groom’ was applauded for his younger years and his stash of medals from his notorious track and field career.
It sparked something in me and made me want to see if I still got a bit of the run. It’s time to lace up and hit the road, and my goal is to see if I can log 30 miles in 30 days. I think the universe is nudging me…I was tagged today by a friend on his Facebook post about running, and my friend who got me to do the 12k just called out of the blue!
Run along with me – virtually is ok – and I will report back and tell you if I met my goal or need to set a new one!
What’s something you used to know that you wish you could get reacquainted with?