Since I was a junior in high school, I would drag my wanna-be-eating-in-front-of-the-tv self into my blue and white Nikes for a run. I'd pound around for what seemed like an eternity. Fifteen minutes later I would lumber my pace to a walk and with hands on hips, bend over puffing and huffing with a red face. Any passer-by would probably only have one thought. Why bother?
And in college I ran. At first it was only because my Army ROTC drill instructor was screaming my butt all the way to kingdom come. The bottom of my beloved Nikes were worn through with everyday 5 am physical training. By far I was the worst runner and being the shortest, my Nikes and I had to set the pace for these super macho, run fanatics who were easily 6 foot and taller and could outrun a cheetah. No doubt about it, group running is NOT my thing. And neither is running until you puke or to a supposed finish line, until the lead screamer tells you to run passed it and you have no idea where you're headed and there is no way to eke out another heel to toe. Needless to say, I chose not to pursue a career with the Army.
But I did start a decent run program. Ten years later, I run my Nikes in 5K races on a regular basis. The latest run was the 10th Annual Fiddler's Jamboree 5K and it was a hilly monster. Through the woods, down trails, over roots, beside ponds and streams. No matter which race it is though, no one is yelling at me and I can run whatever pace I feel like. Folks along the route cheer, even for the walkers. Volunteers pass out water and the t-shirt at the end is all worth it!