I started running again a few years ago because, well, I wasn’t getting enough exercise. That, and I didn’t have a good excuse to break free from my usual routine. We shouldn’t need excuses like that, but something has to drive us to prioritize certain actions, tasks, activities, and behaviors. In my mind, “excuse” is the best word I could come up with; others probably call it something else.
I ran a bit in high school, mostly to support maintain cardio for my swimming and soccer habits. When I got to college, I ran both for fitness and to escape. There were times when I just couldn’t sit still any more and study, so I’d head out the door and run. Nothing crazy, usually 3-6 miles at a time.
At no point did I consider myself a “runner.” Rather, I was someone who ran once in a while. After college, I got busy with work… then family… and I pretty much stopped running at all. I didn’t miss it; I was too busy doing other things. In an effort to become less sedentary, I started hiking with some friends in the mornings and on weekends, and that was great for a while. I moved to a different part of the valley and that, unfortunately, came to an end. I went back to doing nothing and I did miss the exercise.
The VMworld 2009 conference was held in San Francisco and there was a 5K-ish “fun run” across the Golden Gate Bridge. I thought that was something kind of cool: running across the iconic bridge, so I signed up. I wasn’t fast, and the distance left me sore for a week, but that was one of the most fun activities I’d done in a long time. Ever since then, I have been running a few times a week and I have participated in several races — anything from 5K up to a full marathon. I guess that makes me a “runner” now.