I have to say I’m pretty slow at everything. From deciding what to eat to learning to play the guitar. So it’s no surprise that it took me until I was in college to realize I was fat. I looked down and realized I didn’t like the fact that my shirt didn’t fall flat against my stomach.
So being the cash strapped student I was, I did the least expensive exercise I could think of. I put on a pair of gym shoes and started running. I ran for a few minutes the first day. Then I started alternating between running and walking. Then I started running a few blocks. Gradually I started to increase the distance. I started running to work. And then running back home. I got thinner, I felt better about myself. But then I got busy with school. I stopped running.
I was busy with school and work and trying to get into a study abroad program. I made it into the program. I traveled to Japan. I made new friends and learned how to live in a different culture. It broadened my horizons. But one day I noticed that my stomach was getting bigger. And so I started running again.
I started by running around the block, then the neighborhood, then the town. Eventually I was running for two hours before turning back to run home for another two hours.
When I ran I was free. I never measured the distance. I ran for fun. It was a form of meditation. I started to see myself as a runner and an athlete. When I came home I started to lift weights. I gained muscle and confidence in my body. I was happy with my body. And it all started with a pair of running shoes.