An Exploration of Masochism
Posted by carriesculturalcommentary
In Goal Checks and Challenges, I shared my apprehension of joining the Knoxville Track Club’s Wednesday Night Social Runners. Last week was my first run, and it was pretty much everything I expected. I couldn’t really wrap my brain around a social run that was spent entirely alone, and I figured I could run solo anywhere at any time. I knew I was going to leave the group as soon as I got home, and I went to Facebook to do just that. But then I saw one of the members ask me how the run went; and I answered honestly. I told her I didn’t think the group was for me considering my speed (which is a snail’s pace), and my skill level (which is clearly a beginner’s).
And then my solo run became a social one. My run had become the topic of both public and private conversations filled with overwhelming encouragement to keep at it. So that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Though all the comments and messages played their part in baiting me to stay, this one sealed the deal:
“I would encourage you to give it another shot. The beauty of running is that you get out of it what you put it to it. You don’t need to able to hit a ball or handle a bike to be successful. You don’t need to be 6’3″. There are no judges. There are no style points. The only skill you need is persistence. The only benchmark you need is you (you yesterday, you a month ago, you a year ago). Your effort will be rewarded with improved fitness. You will improve and gain confidence … it just takes time.”
I’ve heard similar things in yoga classes, and reading this reminded me of starting yoga at about this same time last year. At my first class all I could think about was how wrong it was for me; but even after that one class, I could feel the benefits, which is why I returned and am still practicing a year later. I started practicing yoga in October 2011 with a six-week series. I figure I can give the Wednesday night runs at least that much. If I approach running with the same perspective so beautifully described in the above quote, maybe this version of me can actually do it.
On Sunday, November 18th, I’ll be running in the Clayton Turkey Trot 5K. This gives me just over six weeks from tomorrow’s run, and I think my performance in it will be a great way to measure my progress since joining the group. Even though running seems like an exploration of masochism at this point, I will do my dead level best to shift my perspective to one of persistence. I owe sincere gratitude to the members of the Knoxville Track Club Wednesday Night Runners for their kindness and warm welcome, and though I may not be looking forward to “running,” I am looking forward to getting to know all of them better.
Thank you for reading. Please visit again to keep up with my running. (Right now that’s a way easy task!)
About carriesculturalcommentaryI am a professional writer living and working in Knoxville, Tennessee. I love being from Appalachia, and I will always be a mountain girl in my heart. I am living proof that a good education is life-changing, and I hope that reading this blog, you will be inspired to passionately pursue all that life has to teach you.
Posted on October 9, 2012, in Knoxville Life, Life Lessons, Running, Yoga and tagged 5K, fitness challenges, fitness goals, health, healthy-living, running, Social Run, yoga. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.