As an avid runner I always arrange a summer calendar of races. The next running event I have on my schedule is called, Dances with Dirt. Sound like fun?!? It’s a team relay event covering 62 miles and with a name like that, you probably had images conjured up in your mind…a winding trail, remote nature areas and great landscapes. Well…think again..!
As a newcomer to the team, I decided to join a “practice run” on the most challenging part of the course. This leg of the trail I ran is referred to as, “The Attitude Adjustor” But, truth be told, it doesn’t even come close to describing it. I should have been observant to the hints of dread from the other runners. “Make sure your shoes are glued to your feet” and “Hey buddy, are you sure you want to wear your nice clean shoes?. Well, it’s a good thing I did the test run close enough to race day. Too late to back out for something more important, like a colonoscopy!! This trail was tough! I had black muck up to my knees, sucking the life out of my legs and almost peeling the shoes off my feet. The only good the muck did was to create a dry shield, protecting me from poison ivy that came next! There were countless stream crossings and sharp 45° climbs with equivalent descents sliding on my rear. The rest of my run was ducking branches and getting scratched up.
Does it sound like I am complaining…? HECK NO this was a BLAST!!! I thought it was the coolest thing in the world! Crazy as it sounds, I found myself laughing all along the way.
This run is a good example of how it’s going to be for most folks starting a fitness program. You begin exercising because of something you heard, saw or read. Next, you’re excited because of a new fitness membership or a new piece of equipment. What you’re not prepared for is how tough it’s going to be. You will hear comments like, “Have you been sore yet?” or “Hey buddy, are you going to exercise in those shoes?” It’s scary venturing out into the unknown. Then, you enter the muck of the program which will try to suck the desire right out of you. Obstacles, like not losing weight as fast as you want, getting profusely sweaty and sore, time management (you know, finding the time), suffering an injury and this darn Michigan weather! Trust me, if you persevere, it will be the coolest thing you can do for yourself. Try laughing along the way, it will be worth it!
Bring on the race,