That said, I do occasionally go through bouts of trying to whip myself into better physical condition. As a University of Iowa student, I have been fortunate to have access to a fantastic recreation center that has fitness classes I enjoy that don't involve too much hand-eye coordination. The last few months, I have been in one of these fitness bouts, mostly as a stress-reliever while writing my thesis. I was going to 3-4 classes a week trying to burn off nervous energy as my defense loomed large on the horizon.
Then one day I saw a post advertising a student training program for the RiverRun. For those who do not live in the Iowa City area, the RiverRun is an annual 5K/10K event that serves as a fundraiser for Uptown Bill's, which is a local charity that supports people with disabilities. The training program started about one month before the race, and entailed twice-weekly team runs for either the 5K or 10K. I had a moment of self-reflection, in which I thought "Hmm...I'm actually not in terrible shape right now, maybe I could do this". Then I thought "You've never actually set a goal like this for yourself, you should give it a try". Then before I could think about it too much more or talk myself out of it, I signed up. I even roped a couple of friends into the deal to make sure I didn't back out of it partway through.
And just like that, for the first time in my life I had a fitness goal. Instead of eyeing an "A" in a course, a challenging knitting pattern, or a Ph.D., I had my eye on completing a 5K.
|Yep, that's me with my eye on the prize.|
Anyway, the day of the race arrived, and my friends and I did it! I ran a 5K! We slowed down to a walk for about a tenth of a mile halfway through the race (we had a just run up a hill, and my Achille's needed a short break), but other than that we ran the entire thing. Our pace was pretty slow, but for all of us the goal was just to finish, not to strive for a best time.
|From left: Emily, Me, and Anna excited to run the race|
(you might also recognize my cheerleader behind Emily)
|About 2 1/2 miles in, still going strong!|