You’ve heard me say plenty that MUSIC is my boyfriend. RUNNING is a one night stand that you never admit to having (at least not out loud) because it makes you sick to your stomach to even think about it. Ha ha! However, these two combined are a perfect match.
Growing up I was a tomboy. I played outside and got down and dirty. My parents both worked to make ends meet, so asking them to enroll me in an extra-curricular activity, was completely out of the question. In middle school I fell in love with the game of basketball. It didn’t take much to convince my parents to let me take part of the Belvedere Junior High basketball team. Not only was it free of cost, it was my afterschool babysitter. Basketball would give me something to do while I waited for my parents to pick me up at 5:00pm. It worked out for all parties involved.
I continued to play all throughout my middle and high school years. I was the starting point guard my freshman year at Wilson High School in Los Angeles. Basketball was my everything–until conditioning came around. Conditioning was basically HELL on Earth. During about a 6-week period of time, we weren’t allowed to touch a basketball. What?! It was all about getting in shape for the season. It was all about running, drill without balls, stairs, drill without balls, mile stairs, and more drills without being able to touch a ball! Absurd if you ask me. More than running, I absolutely hated the fact that my coach expected me to lead the mile run by far because I was the point guard. He never quite understood why the center would finish her mile run before me. Frankly, I could’ve cared less. I would never run out of gas on the court, but put me out in a track and this little engine no longer could. My basketball days came to an end my senior year when I tore my ACL but not before winning a ring.
I retired myself into a couple of Women’s Leagues, then I learned to officiate, did that for a couple years, and then nothing. Eventually I would miss being active. I bought a gym membership and fell in love with spinning, but once our first home went into escrow, that meant the gym membership would have to be cancelled–amongst other things. Since the purchase of our first home, I’ve endured two foot surgeries. Recovery time? About three years. So it’s been about two years that I’ve tried to genuinely fall in love with running. And man, have failed time and time again. I wouldn’t even go out looking for excuses, the excuses would come to me. Ha ha!
Meet the friend (Susana) of a friend (Jennifer) that introduced me to BlackList LA. Right to left: Jennifer, Susana, myself
I started out with a 14 minute mile–yikes! I wanted to see immediate improvements, even if I only ran 3x a month. I mean right? That in itself was a reason to quit. It’s been two months since I decided that I would make running my bitc*! Yes, I said it. This time, I started with a 12 minute mile. Dragging myself out to run was a drag in itself. While running all I could think of was how much I hated life at that very moment. But it was at the end of the run where I felt an all time natural high. There’s no better feeling like the one of a clear mind, body, and soul. I felt the toxins leaving my body with every bit of sweat rolling down my face. It felt good, really good. I slowly became addicted to this feeling. It became an everyday evening ritual with me and the kids. The kids would get their skateboarding/ jungle gym time on, while mom got her run on. It was perfect.
Since then, I’ve met a lot of other folks that have an affinity for running. A dear friend of mine introduced me to one of her friend’s who at the first mention of the word “run”, immediately introduced me to BlackList LA. I joined this avid running group for the very first time last Monday. It was the most fun I’ve had since taking on running. BlackList LA takes place on Monday nights at 10pm in different locations in Los Angeles. Sure it’s on Monday nights and there’s work the next day but it’s well worth it. Check them out @BlackListLA on twitter or Instagram.
I’m now at a 9:07 minute mile. Not too bad after three pregnancies, one knee surgery, two foot surgeries, thirty-two years of life, and two months of training. Yes, that was me shamelessly tooting my own horn. Someone has got to do it! Still, I can’t really say that I absolutely love running, but I can say that running has become my happy place. I still have deadly thoughts at the beginning, halfway through, and at the very end of the run, but the end results are euphoric. I’ve stopped running to beat my time and started running to relax my mind, body, and soul. I run to shake off any negative vibes that I might have attracted during the day. I run to release any anger, sadness, or frustration that I might be holding on to. I run to maintain this temple we call body healthy. I run to stay healthy for my children, grandchildren, and If I’m lucky my great-grandchildren. I run to take care of myself and my well-being. Because without that, I cannot take care of all those who need me.
BlackList LA folks getting ready to take DTLA for a run!
p.s. I use the Nike+Running app on my iPhone. All other apps I’ve tried to use are way too complicated. This Nike app keeps it simple and to the point. I highly recommend it! Oh, and soon I’ll be running my very first 5k…baby steps!
p.s.s. I’ve never had a one night stand. It was simply to humor you all!