Why Athletes Call It Training

I’m not an athlete. Never have been. The extent of my childhood sports activities was marching band. The only reason I didn’t fail PE is because I tried, not because I was good at anything we did. I was completely surprised when I fell in love with fencing. Finally! A sport I like! The only trouble is I don’t have anyone to practice with every day, so daily exercise is still a drudge. This, of course, does not do my waistline any good. Maxing out at the minimum at my age is a recipe for weight gain, which is what has been happening.

I finally resigned myself to stepping up my game (before I had to buy more pants another size up) and started Couch To 5K. I trained for a week without telling anyone, and then the Boys came. One of them is a runner, and one day we got to talking about running. He said someone had told him to run until you vomit and then keep running because it teaches your body to stretch the limit. That’s rattled around in my brain for a few weeks now, and as I progress on my own running journey, I’ve realized that I have to *train* my body to keep going when my legs cramp, to not panic when the breathing pattern changes, to allow the weakness to leave. It’s not just about building endurance and strength. Those come when the body comes out of its comfort zone. My quest to stretch my boundaries isn’t limited to exploring things that make me uncomfortable. It’s not even just about doing what scares me. It also includes becoming a stronger person, emotionally and spiritually as well as physically.

Want to see who inspires me to run five more seconds when I want to quit? My friend Reba is riding across country to prove to women with PTSD that they can have a real life. Check out her journey, and check out the entry earlier this month where she got blown down a ravine by a semi.


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