running away


Every other day since May of this year, I have laced up some shoes and pounded 2 miles out of my dirt road.

I have 2 pair of running tights… and they are that: tight. It’s not pretty.

After a couple months, I bought some real running shoes… lighter and simpler than the cute ones I’ve always worn with jeans. I bought socks that don’t have stripes and don’t come up to my knees.

Before you get all Yay Yahoo It’ll change your Life Anyone Can Do It One Step In Front of the Other It’s Where I Do My Best Thinking on me, let me say this:

I hate it.

I sure do hate running.

I do not feel awesome when I am running.

I cannot talk when I’m running, much less solve the world’s problems.

I don’t finish on a high with rosy cheeks and happy muscles.

My body has not changed and is not super thrilled with me.

I am not a runner’s runner.

So, why do it?

Because for 20 years, I have assumed that I could not. True: I ran track my freshman year in high school… sprints and certainly nothing over 400m in practice. True: I was a Kinesiology (that’s P.E., in layman’s terms) major in college and suffered through every agility and physical requirement that came my way. I survived both simply because I did not like my alternative options.

For 20 years, running has been the thing I cannot do, that I could not be great at, that I wouldn’t learn.

When given the choice, I choose less. Less complicated, less hard, less risk.

When a friend asked me to join them on a 5k in May, I laughed and agreed- signing up before I could come up with an excuse to bail. I signed up Curt, too, just for good measure. And ever since that weekend, I have kept going.

It’s not awesome. I have no illusions or desires of personal bests and sleek silhouettes. I just wanted to change my mind, and 30 minutes every other day was the simplest way to do it. No equipment. No membership. No kids. No cds. No diet. Just… run.

I wanted to quiet the voice. That voice that whispers, “Yeah, well… you can’t do that. AND, you don’t have to. Running means racing and winning… you can’t do that. Running means walking out of your house in awkward clothing… you can’t do that. Running means having familiar cars pass you… you can’t do that. Running is physically uncomfortable and public and hard.”

Actually, I can do that. 

I can’t do it well, which always stopped me before, but I CAN DO IT.

I am learning, slowly, that God is not as impressed with results as He is with effort. I have taught this to students, prayed this with my children, and written this to lost hearts… but I have never personally accepted it.

He is not as impressed with your results, Katie, as He is with your effort.

Just try. 

Don’t talk yourself out of it. Don’t wait for perfection. Don’s assume everyone else out there is loving their race.

Just try. Stop when you have to, stretch at the end, and check it off the list.

It counts. 

About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

6 responses to “running away

  • Missy

    I love that you now embrace what you’ve taught, known, and written. It would do me well to take a page out of your play book, friend. Try. Just let God show us how much He values our desire to give it a go. Run like a the wind, or a small cool breeze, or even a quick flutter, but keep on!

  • Cortney Hammontree Hall

    I got my running shoes for Mother’s Day. I used an app to get started, and the first day all I had to do was run for 60 second intervals and walk for 90 seconds in between. For 20 minutes total. The next day my chest was sore–my CHEST–from sucking wind like I might die.
    The fear that I might die is actually why I started in the first place. Because I needed to do *something* and the gym is the worst place in the entire world to me, worse than the Costco on a Saturday or the week before Thanksgiving. Anyway…
    Now I can walk out my door and run for 30 minutes without stopping and not feel like death is inevitable. I don’t love it while I’m doing, either. My legs are stronger and leaner, but they were never the problem. My middle is thick as ever, and that is annoying but I am becoming accepting of it anyway. I am proud of myself for going. I am slow, and I am 100% sure I do not look graceful, but I run. And for 40 minutes or so, I am outside, and I am alone with the geese around the pond and the freshly mown grass in the field and the smells of new construction up over the hill, and that is all very good. Moms don’t get to be alone very often, and I can’t speak for you, but boy did *I* need that.
    I don’t know if I’ll ever love it while I’m doing it. But I love it when I’m done, and I stretch, and I change into my squishy mom clothes, and I sit down satisfied. And I have ice cream.

  • Mandi Watts

    I relate to this post so much!! There have been so many things in my life that I thought I couldn’t do, but what I really meant by that was that I didn’t want to put in the effort to do them. In the last few years, I have been learning that truly anything is possible, and I’ve been embracing the truth of what you have written here. With the lack of routine this summer, I put away my running shoes, but I think it might just be time to get them back out. Thanks for the reminder and encouragement, Friend!

  • janna

    This is one of my favorites posts ever, KT. Lovely.

  • Anna

    I love this post, and every comment that has been made. Maybe I should go get some running shoes…

  • Lizzy

    I don’t do running. I can’t. Body won’t allow me. So i do walking, that is hard enough some days. And when I’m puffing my way back from dropping the kids to school, dragging my feet and thinking – this is ridiculous woman! I am reminded of some wise words somebody once spoke. Do what you can. Don’t be discouraged for if you are moving, no matter how slowly, you are still lapping the folk on the couch 🙂

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