So I had this tiny little glimmer of an idea to run, and then BAM! Instantly came the fear.
So many fears. Fear of taking on one more responsibility when I already felt drowning in responsibility. Fear that I might actually have bad knees, and be physically unsuited to running. Fear of telling the world and then feeling foolish if it didn't work out. Simply put, fear of failing (with some additional fear around how such a failure might damage my already fragile emotional state).
For a long time, a couple of weeks, I told no one about my idea. I just thought about it. I honestly couldn't tell if it was the best idea ever, or the worst idea ever - but I was pretty sure it was one or the other.
Finally, I told my husband. It sounded something like this: Umm, I kind of have this crazy idea, oh I don't know, it's really weird, you see Cure JM does this run and umm... I was sort of thinking about maybe, oh I don't know, possibly thinking about ummm trying to maybe, uh, try to run the half marathon. I could barely even speak the words; I mumbled, I blushed. It was just so far outside of the way I see myself in the world. But hubby understood, and was supportive.
I continued to mull it over. Finally, I composed an email to two fabulous friends, Kirsten and Steph. I knew that they ran, and in fact Kirsten had invited me to try running with her a month prior to all of this. (Which is actually very significant because if Kirsten hadn't extended that invitation, I'm not sure if my glimmer of an idea would have been sparked at all.) Anyhow, I wrote an email describing my idea to run, and then my finger hovered over the "send" key. I hesitated a long time because I knew that sending that email meant I was making a commitment; I knew that they would be completely enthusiastic, and would sweep me up and off we'd go.
Which is exactly what happened. Very soon, Stephanie took me to a good running store (See Jane Run) to buy proper shoes. I felt dorky and self conscious in the store. When asked whether I was training for a particular event, or just casually running, I gave a long, rambling, incoherent answer... well, uh, I'm not really sure, I mean you know, uh, I'm thinking of maybe trying to try a (ahem) half (cough) marathon, but I've never, umm, you know, run, and I really don't know... and on and on. So embarrassing.
A few days after that, I laced up those shoes and went for my first run. I ran for 17 minutes - didn't want to overdo it! - and again, felt incredibly dorky and self conscious the entire time. Like everyone could take one look and tell that I was a faker, that I didn't have a clue what I was doing.
I know it probably seems silly that I felt so excruciatingly awkward about something as simple and commonplace as running, but for me, this was stepping far out of my comfort zone, far out of my own idea of who I am.