Did you run in high school? Play football? Basketball?
I get that question a lot, especially after hearing me talk *cough (brag) cough* about running my latest race or half marathon, and every time, I have to choke down a laugh.
Me? Are you serious?
I was never really an athlete growing up. I was picked on quite a bit growing up and as a result was seen as someone with about as much skill as a dolphin on a sidewalk. So this probably influenced my opinion of my prowess on the athletic battleground, aka "recess." I could kick a mean kickball, pin many a snot in tetherball and club anyone in raquetball.
But, yeah, those snide comments were mostly warranted. When we wrestled in gym class, I was pinned more often than the no-named guy in pink shorts who faced Hulk Hogan on "Saturday Night's Main Event." I was one of the more feared runners on the football field, but that was in band football. And I STILL can't dribble a basketball and run at the same time, which sort of limits what you can do on the court.
I was good at things that didn't require talent or skill. I became an accomplished mountaineer because I did it many, many times, over and over, and could learn about things like the weather and nutrition and pace and scrambling. I could bench press 300 pounds because I lifted weights, over and over. And now I'm a runner because I run, over and over.
It's not magic. It's just hard work. There are many, many, many of you out there who could smoke me on the course if you wanted to start. I hope to see you out there, and if you do, wave at me as you pass me by.
It's not the tiger's ability to run with abandon, jump with skill or pull down an antelope with one paw. It's his eye.
*Cue Survivor here*