eIn middle school, I was the nonathletic kid in gym class who exaggerated a wheeze in order to be deemed medically unable to complete the one-mile run. At one point I was “diagnosed” with exercise-induced asthma and was prescribed an inhaler to be taken in the nurse’s office (where I spent most of my gym-class hours). Every year students were required to have a mile run timed and only once did I drag my spiteful heels through the entire four laps, clocking in at an impossibly slow 20 minutes, stopping every few minutes to retie my self-untying shoelaces and stretch out a pesky reoccurring cramp. Getting me to run was like pulling teeth. I hated every step of it and rolled my eyes at the weekend afternoon joggers diligently hitting the pavement, confused as to why they weren’t sprawled out on the couch with a bowl of Cocoa Puffs chased by a scoop of ice cream.
Fast forward to today: Just back from a sweaty end-of-workout jog in the near 100F heat, I excitedly tack on another three miles to my ongoing outdoor mileage log, overjoyed that I have amassed over three marathons’ worth of pavement. I keep at least two pairs of sneakers in my car at all times (right now, four) along with clean socks. Instead of drooling over the newest toy, my eyes sparkle as I window shop for a runner’s wristwatch equipped with GPS. Suddenly, I had become the afternoon runner I had once scoffed at as a child; I’ve changed, to say the least.
Thank goodness we aren’t defined by our pasts. Hallelujah for being able to make decisions, create change and reform our likes, our goals and ourselves.Had you told a preteen-me that I would one day be a wellness fanatic and an avid runner, I would have laughed through a mouthful of Oreos and turned back to my cartoons. I was no athlete as a child, but today I am proud to have earned that title.
Years don’t have to pass by in order to make a personal change for the better- that’s the beauty of the power of choice. If there’s something I don’t like about myself I have two options: do nothing or do something about it. I am a constant work in progress towards the best version of myself and I intend to make daily strides towards that end, no excuses made. Since my tweaks have been constant, I don’t have to look as far back as 13 years at the “exercise-induced-asthmatic television loving couch potato” in order to see the positive changes I’ve made, but the drastic comparison it presents sure is entertaining!